Their goal – besides hanging out with family and friends, downing a brewsky or two, teeing off a few balls, and catching a few rays – was raising big coin for babies. And that, they did.
We’re talking about Langley’s own Dallas Smith, and former Langleyite Chad Brownlee – two award-winning country music stars – who spent Tuesday at The Redwoods Golf Course with a few hundred like-minded individuals.
For the fifth year in a row, these two artists hosted the Boys of Fall Charity Golf Tournament, benefitting Basics for Babies.
And before hitting the links late that morning, both of the men shared their vision for raising more than $100,000 in the one day. By 9:30 Tuesday night, the pair were unveiling a cheque topping $143,000 to Basics program coordinator Terra Paredes.
In the first four years, they raised more than $325,000. Tuesday’s total pushed the tally close to half a million dollars for Basics for Babies – an organization that assists families coping with the challenges of raising a young infant, by providing them with needed food, formula and diapers.
In 2012, the two country stars concluded their Boys of Fall cross-country music tour and chose to keep that partnership going by giving back to their community in some way.
Since both enjoyed golfing, Brownlee said it was a “no brainer,” to partner with Redwoods and JRfm to fundraise for a family-oriented charity like Basics for Babies.
So stemming from the success of their tour, Smith and Brownlee teamed up to create the annual Boys of Fall Charity Golf Tournament – and while they’re both good at golf, they felt it was a natural fit to top off the day with something they are credited with doing exceptionally well – singing.
Consequently, they added a private concert component after the golf, dinner, and auction – to help raise more money and to give thanks – in their own way – to all those who stepped up for the cause.
“It’s all about families, isn’t it?” said Brownlee – speaking of the charity, and the day.
In keeping with the family-oriented theme, both musicians were once again at Redwoods Tuesday with their families.
Since their families have been so supportive and instrumental in their careers, Smith and Brownlee said they’re honoured and proud to share this special charity event with them, too.
In Smith’s case, the 39-year-old shared the experience with his father, Don, and his 12-year-old son Carson – both from Walnut Grove.
Normally, Carson can’t go to work with Dad – since many of his functions are off limits to people 19 or younger.
But in this case, Smith loves to share the day with his son and his father, alike. Carson gets to zip around the course, following Dad around in a golf cart and sharing laughs. And Smith said the whole family will be there partying into the night when Smith and Brownlee take to the stage.
“Having my family here is so super important,” said Smith.
He was also be joined by his mother, Sue, wife, Kristen, daughter, Vayda, and a few aunts, uncles, and cousins for the evening festivities.
“It’s a big family affair,” Smith said.
Meanwhile, 33-year-old Brownlee (who recently moved to Gibsons) golfed with his father, Al, who travels from Kelowna every year to be part of the fundraiser.
Brownlee’s mother, Ann-Marie Reimer, was also on the course, not swinging a club but rather serving as a hole-in-one spotter.
It was not only a chance to share some time with family, but to hang with some of their supporters and like-minded individuals who are anxious to help a worthy cause, Smith said.
“Some of the statistics we’ve heard for Basics for Babies have just been phenomenal. They’re looking to expand…” Brownlee told the crowd just before tee off. “If it wasn’t for all of you [the sponsors and golfers] here today, that wouldn’t be possible, so thank you all very much.”
The fundraising goals for the annual tournament have come a long ways from the first year, when they raised $14,000. In year four, they raised 10-times that for Basics for Babies.
Ahead of Tuesday’s tourney, the duo was anticipating they’d raise at least $100,000 this time around. The pair of singers, along with Paredes, were all overwhelmed when the tally came in Tuesday night. It was the largest ever at $143,724.
This year, the sponsorships and 160 golf spots were sold out before the date of the event was even announced.
In addition to all the golfers who hung around for the dinner and concert, there were also another 800 Brownlee and Smith fans who have bought $75 concert-only tickets that evening.
They were sitting on picnic blankets and in lawn chairs on the grass above the 18th hole, watching Brownlee, Smith, and a few special guests perform as the sun sets.
The private concert featured Brownlee and Smith, but also included Vancouver artist Shawn Austin and Calgary musician J.J. Shiplett.
“It’s like the best of work and play combined,” Brownlee said of the day as he jumped into the passenger’s seat of a golf cart chauffeured by his father.
In addition to golf sponsorships, concert tickets, and on-course raffles and fundraisers, the Boys of Fall event also features silent and live auctions.
Up for grabs in the live auction was the always popular fishing and lunch excursion with Brownlee and golf course manager Doug Hawley, a Canucks game with Dallas Smith, as well as a $15,000 Bison Lodge escape for eight.