This month Wendy Toyer, Executive Director of the ALS Society of BC, is travelling across the province to personally thank each golfer who participated in the PGA of BC Golfathon for ALS. On dates throughout June golf pros, members and staff golfed as many holes as possible to raise awareness and funds for ALS patients; many beginning their golf marathon at dawn and not stopping until well after dusk.
In Castlegar it was golfer Florio Vassilakakis who swung the clubs for the cause. This was Florio’s second such effort in as many years.
Florio completed 270 holes of golf in the one day session, generating more than $1,500 for the ALS research.
The golf fan found that with repetition and muscle memory he was able to play fairly well.
“It’s funny because when you play golf and you’re on a pace of about four and a half hours per round, you do have time to think about every shot,” said Vassilakakis, “and you do over-think sometimes. Sometimes it’s better to just go up there and hit the ball.”
Florio said he was fortunate to have a cool wet day for his marathon, a fact that lessened his fatigue and also allowed him to speed through as there were relatively few players on the course.
“Two hundred and seventy holes is phenomenal,” said Toyer on the July 11 occasion of Florio getting his certificate of appreciation. “Even more so when you think that he was out there by himself.”
When all was said and done Florio’s average score was 83 per round.
Tabulations were still ongoing on the day Toyer was in town, but she was able to say that well over a hundred thousand dollars had been raised in the Golfathon drive for this year.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS ), also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects the person’s motor neurons that carry messages to the muscles resulting in weakness and wasting in arms, legs, mouth, throat and elsewhere; typically the person is immobilized within two to five years of the initial diagnosis. There is no known cause or cure yet, but there is hope through the ALS Society of BC.