Wacky Golf for cancer research

Credit: Jody Roberts
Jody, in front, poses for a selfie with one of the 13 teams that took part in last weekend's Barb Johnson Memorial Wacky Golf for Cancer tournament.
Kristi Dobson

Ever since the passing of her mother in 2002, Jody Roberts has been a devoted fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.  Roberts watched her mother, Barbara Johnson fight a physically and emotionally exhausting battle with colorectal cancer and has been determined to do what she can so other families will not have to go through the same experience.

Jody’s dedication began on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s passing when she invited family and friends to join her in a memorial walk together. Donations and support rolled in and she continued with the walk for several years. That small group has stood by her side and has grown considerably since then.

When the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life began in Port Alberni in 2005, Roberts joined the committee and was involved until the event’s final year. She led as Entertainment Chair, successfully recruited teams and was a team captain for her annual family and friends team. In 2010 she kicked up her fundraising a notch by hosting the Barb Johnson Memorial Wacky Golf for Cancer tournament. On average, she has about 60 to 80 golfers take part in the fun 9-hole tourney.

Jody gets into full swing a few weeks before the event, which is always held in July, but thinks about various props and activities throughout the year. Some of the stunts participants had to perform at each hole include teeing off with a field hockey stick and a golf ball on a pylon, using a plastic leg as a putter, hitting the ball while standing on an inner tube and trying to swing while wearing the infamous large bra.

For the past three years, Jody, with the help of Kurt Cyr, has added a successful money-maker with a helicopter ball drop. This year she sold golf balls for a chance to win half the pot and raised $4,930 alone on sales. Tricia Hewitt was the winner with her ball landing closest to the marker. Jody credits part of the generousity to Facebook.

“That is the power of social media,” Jody said. “Every time someone bought one, I posted it to their wall and others bought some from there. I even sold some to Scotland.”

The evening included a dinner and silent auction at the Alberni Golf Club.

Overall, the tournament raised $7,092 for the fight against cancer. It continues to be something Jody does with passion.

“It warms my heart to see everyone who comes out and has fun,” she said. “It is something close to my heart and I want to give back for what my mom had to go through. We have to keep it going for future research.”

The winning team of Maureen Mackenzie, Ron and Sue Pederson and Mary and Paulo Bauto, took home the plaque for achieving the hidden score.