A team of volunteers who perform the annual Extreme Home Repair, offer the twice-a-year single mother's oil change, and give away used vehicles to needy families have been given some help to keep doing what they do.
The Acts of Kindness (AOK) crew from the Aldergrove Seventh-Day Adventist Church held its annual fundraiser golf tournament at The Redwoods golf course last week (Sept. 10), netting $55,000.
The money, said Pastor Michael Dauncey, will allow his team to keep performing random acts of kindness during the upcoming year.
"It is impossible to know just how many people have been affected by all of the community projects the church has coordinated over the years. Most likely, it's in the thousands," Dauncey said.
AOK has been operating locally for 13 years.
In order to have this kind of an impact, he said it takes a large quantity of funds. And the annual golf event is key.
It was back in 2004, when a small group of AOK board members met in an RV on a camping trip, that it was determined a golf tournament would be a great way to raise funds for Acts of Kindness, recounted Dauncey, admitting he wasn't around at the time but has been told the story by church historians.
Anyway, it proved to be true because the first tournament in September 2004 brought in $40,300.
Since then, the AOK Charity Golf Classic has been held every year in memory of Dr. Michael Haluschak - a champion for community service and a pioneer of the AOK programs
"Inspiring and fun for participants, the event has proven to be a tremendous financial boost to AOK's community programs," Dauncey said.
"This year it was a little nerve-racking seeing dark clouds appear early in the day, but thankfully they kept coasting by. The sun came out and the day turned out to be beautiful."
There were 94 golfers - up from 60 the year before - who began with a shotgun start at noon. And about five hours later the golfers came together again under the outdoor tents for a banquet with about 60 other volunteers and guest.
"As we ate a wonderful banquet meal, we shared with our guests the fantastic things AOK does with the money raised, Dauncey said, adding, "We pride ourselves in ensuring that every cent goes back to the community. Nothing is kept for administrative costs."
After presenting a video that highlight the different AOK programs - which include Extreme Home
Repair, Single Mom's Oil Change, summer camps for kids, and the Minivans for Moms - one participant commented:
"I was moved by how engaged those who support Acts of Kindness were in not only giving financial support, but the emotional support, as well," said Wayne Culmore. "I saw a number of tears during the Acts of Kindness video.
Supporters were moved by the amazing difference you are making in people's lives."
After the dust settled and numbers were crunched, this year's tournament raised $55,000 and brought the tally since the golf classic's inception to $424,000 that has been raised and poured back into families living in Aldergrove and Langley, Dauncey said.
For more information or to see video clips about AOK, people can go online to aokaldergrove.org.