Already a three-time success, the Courtnall Celebrity Classic first evolved from the Courtnall Classic.
The Courtnall Celebrity Classic Society first evolved from the Courtnall Classic. The original Courtnall Classic was a successful fundraiser conceived by Geoff and Russ Courtnall to help the children of Canuck Place. This gala dinner and fishing derby ran for three consecutive years (1995 through 1997) and raised over $1.5 million.
In 2003, Geoff and Russ were joined by their brother Bruce and came together to help their community through the Courtnall Celebrity Classic, a gala dinner and golf tournament. The goal of the Classic was to raise funds to improve emergency mental health services in the community. The 2003 and 2004 Courtnall Celebrity Classics raised more than $2 million for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’ Together We Care campaign and helped create the Archie Courtnall Centre which opened in October 2004. The Centre, named after the Courtnall brothers’ father who suffered from mental illness, is the regional Psychiatric Emergency Services Unit and serves more than 3,000 people each year.
The 2011 Courtnall Celebrity Classic raised $1.15 million which went towards purchasing mental health care equipment and funding patient programs for the new Patient Care Centre at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. This support helped create new units to bring together both geriatric and adult mental health patients with other acute patients – an important new chapter in mental health treatment and helping de-stigmatize the perception that mental health patients need to be treated separate from other patients.
In 2012, Geoff Courtnall ran the Boston Marathon to benefit the Courtnall Celebrity Classic Society and The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care to support causes near and dear to Geoff and his former NHL teammate Cam Neely.