Courtnall brothers donate $900 thousand for mental health care

Posted in: Press Releases, Spotlight- Sep 08, 2011

Sept. 8, 2011, Victoria, BC–July’s Courtnall Celebrity Classic was deemed a success in many ways, and when combined with funds raised through out the year, Geoff, Russ and Bruce Courtnall are pleased to donate $900 thousand to support mental health care in Victoria through the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s $25 million Building Care Together campaign.

While the red carpet has been rolled up for over a month now and the celebrities have gone home, recent sad events reconfirm that it is as important as ever to continue to shine the spotlight on mental illness.

“It is hard to talk about our fundraising success when we are hearing about so many of our friends battling mental illness and not winning,” says Geoff Courtnall. “Our hope is that the dialogue will continue and more people will speak out about the need for better mental health care and support.”

The funds, which will be donated to VHF, were raised thanks to numerous individual donors, tournament and event sponsors, golf tournament entrants, a 12-hour CFAX 1070 radiothon, a gala dinner with live and silent auction as well as a ticketed after party at CLUB 9ONE9.

“We’d like to express our sincere thanks to the Courtnalls for their time, energy and continued commitment to improving health care for those living with mental illness,” said Ted Hughes, Building Care Together campaign co-chair. “The funds raised through their efforts will help purchase leading–edge equipment and patient programs for mental health in our new Patient Care Centre. We are deeply grateful for their dedication to this important cause.”

“Geoff, Bruce and I are blown away by the support from our donors, sponsors and community,” said Russ Courtnall. “We’re astounded by the number of people who’ve come forward, wanting to share their stories about battling mental illnesses. The more we talk about it, the better it is for people listening who get into that dark hole and feel they’re all alone. They’re not—there are millions of people like them.”

Highlights from the event include:

  • Trinidad Drilling coming on board early as the title sponsor.
  • The CFAX 1070 Radiothon – with calls from Wayne Gretzky and Howie Mandel, a single $25,000 donation from The Butchart Gardens, interviews with mental health sufferers and medical professionals and in-person appearances by stars such as Valeri Bure (former NHLer) and Candace Cameron Bure (actress, played D. J. Tanner on Full House).
  • The Fairmont Empress’ red carpet, with A Channel’s live two hour coverage, where members of the public were able to snap pictures and get autographs signed by participants like Matthew Craven & Manny Malhotra.
  • Live performances by Alan Frew, Don Felder, Aaron Pritchett, Kraig Nienhuis, Ken Lavigne & Ty Bachmann.
  • A beautiful day of golf where the tournament’s top prize was won by Ron McLean’s fivesome.

“It was a week we won’t soon forget, and our hope is the Courtnall Celebrity Classic kick started the momentum needed to help the Victoria Hospitals Foundation reach its overall goal of $4 million towards mental health,” says Bruce Courtnall, who is also on the Building Care Together Campaign cabinet. “We look forward to doing what we can to keep that momentum going for mental health care.”

About the 2011 Courtnall Celebrity Classic
Now a three-time success, and presented by Trinidad Drilling, the 2011 Courtnall Celebrity Classic took place in Victoria July 21 to 24, 2011. Thanks to event sponsors, including the Victoria Golf Club, Victoria Conference Centre, Strathcona Hotel and Fairmont Empress, the-star studded long weekend included a radiothon, fundraising dinner, silent and live auction, after party at CLUB 9ONE9 and celebrity golf tournament. Previous Courtnall Celebrity Classics, held in 2003 and 2004, raised more than $2M for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and helped open the doors to the Archie Courtnall Centre, a Psychiatric Emergency Services Unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. Funds raised from the 2011 Classic are to purchase equipment and patient and staff education programs in support of mental health treatment in the new Patient Care Centre, as part of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s overall $25M Building Care Together campaign. For more information, visit www.courtnallclassic.org.

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Media Contacts:
Brian Cant, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-896-3844 (cell) or brian@tartangroup.ca
Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-882-9199 (cell) or deirdre@tartangroup.ca