Ten nominees representing volunteers, life-long fans, individuals who have founded community-giving groups, and individuals who have received support from a participating charity have been selected as this year’s Shaw Charity Classic Community Champions.
In recognition of their impact in the community, Shaw is donating $10,000 to each Community Champion’s charity of choice for a total of $100,000. Donations made to specific charities will also be matched up to 50 per cent by the Shaw Charity Classic Foundation.
Brooke has chosen to direct her donation from Shaw to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, a charity partner of the Shaw Charity Classic that has fundraised over $1.1 million through the tournament since 2015.
The Marfo Family
The Marfo Family has spent over 365 nights at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Calgary and Edmonton, considering the Houses a second home for their family while away from their home in Lac La Biche. The safe and welcoming accommodations at the Ronald McDonald Houses allowed the Marfos to focus on what’s most important: spending time together as a family. Even in their own time of need, the Marfo Family were thinking of others, fundraising over $1,000 for Ronald McDonald House.
The Ronald McDonald Houses in Alberta have participated in the Shaw Charity Classic since 2014, raising over $1.4 million through the tournament.
Since the age of five, Stephen McPhee has helped vulnerable children and families. As a person with Autism, he faces challenges of his own every day, but that does not dampen his passion to help others across Alberta. Since starting with 15 backpacks donated to Inn from the Cold in 2006, Stephen has given out over 85,000 backpacks for back-to-school and Christmas, furnished 34 homes for vulnerable families who have lost everything, and donated 17,000 pairs of new running shoes to children in need. He has motivated other children to get involved in their communities by speaking at hundreds of schools over the years. Stephen’s motto is “Dream Out Loud” and that he does!
Stephen’s Backpacks has participated in the Shaw Charity Classic since 2017. Over 5 years, they have raised almost $175,000 through the tournament.
Chase Morley, a high school student entering grade 12 at the amiskwaciy Academy in Edmonton in the Fall, is the recipient of Junior Achievement Northern Alberta & NWT’s 2022 Fran Olson Indigenous Scholarship. With inspiration and learning from Junior Achievement’s programming, Chase started a business, Indigenous Athletics, as a solo project that combines Indigenous culture and Chase’s passion for basketball. Through the Junior Achievement Company Program, Chase learned the fundamentals of running a business, something he always dreamed of doing but never had the means to try. Through running his business, Chase realized that entrepreneurship is an opportunity for him to help other members of his community, so he planned a field trip to work with younger students to teach them to bead and speak Cree, building relationships in the community and with other schools. When Chase received news that he had been awarded the Indigenous scholarship, he felt that he could achieve success in the business world. He remembers close family members telling him that his dream of being an entrepreneur wouldn’t work. Now Chase believes in himself and trusts that he can be successful. He understands that there are many opportunities to learn and grow as an entrepreneur and wishes to be the best representative of his people and culture.
Junior Achievement Northern Alberta has been involved in the Shaw Charity Classic since 2015 and has raised over $450,000 through the tournament.
Kaitlin O’Grady has been with The Doorway, a Calgary-based charity that provides support to young people on the street choosing to rejoin society, for nine years. As a Program Manager, she teaches The Doorway’s methods of helping street-involved youth to dozens of staff and volunteers. Her deep commitment is rooted in principles of dignity, belief in young people’s potential, and trust for them to guide their own path forward. Kaitlin has personally helped hundreds of youth. She believes relationships are the foundation to supporting people, values being authentic and intentional, and has witnessed the impact that being an invested adult can have on a youth. As the pandemic arrived, Kaitlin proposed and launched distance delivery and an outreach program that sustained and grew The Doorway’s services to young people.
Kaitlin’s commitment goes far beyond her workday. She has been instrumental in recruiting volunteers for and participating in Steps Off the Street, The Doorway’s annual fundraising run/walk, and the Calgary Marathon. Kaitlin helped initiate The Doorway’s involvement in the Shaw Charity Classic starting in 2016 and has led social media and promotion of the Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink donation matching opportunity ever since. Thanks to her efforts and many generous donors, The Doorway has raised over $300,000 through the Shaw Charity Classic.
High school was anything but normal for Jo Pricca. Diagnosed with cancer in 2017, she endured nearly three years of harsh treatments and isolation. The treatments caused hair loss and weight gain, affecting her self-image – but Jo persevered. She joined Kids Cancer Care’s exercise program and after seeing huge gains in her fitness levels, Jo completed a three-day cycle tour with KCC’s Teen Leadership Program and rode in their Cycle Challenge to raise funds and awareness for children with cancer. Recognized with a 2022 Centennial High School Coyote Award for her positive attitude and perseverance in the face of adversity, Jo is wise and compassionate beyond her years. She gives on a personal and volunteer level, offering kindness and support to individuals ostracized simply for being different, including people in the 2SLGBTQIA community and children with cancer. One of her greatest acts of kindness was turning her Make-a-Wish into a gift for hundreds of other children—building an elaborate treehouse at Camp Kindle. Thanks to community fundraising partners like the Shaw Charity Classic, Jo has received a Kids Cancer Care scholarship to study veterinary services while leaving behind a legacy of love and protection for Alberta children for years to come.
Kids Cancer Care has been involved with Shaw Charity Classic every year since 2013, raising almost $2 million through the tournament.
Charles “Chuck” Tyler
Charles “Chuck” Tyler has volunteered as a Marshal for every year of the Shaw Charity Classic and is still going strong at 90 years old. He won the Shaw Charity Classic “Volunteer of the Year” Award in 2017, being recognized by the tournament and his peers. Chuck’s mantra has always been boiled down to two simple letters: “HO” standing for “Help Out”. He keeps coming back to the Shaw Charity Classic because of the camaraderie he feels between all the volunteers, staff, and golfers, and the short but memorable exchanges he shares with spectators.
Chuck has chosen to direct his donation from Shaw to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, which has been a beneficiary charity of the tournament since 2015 and has raised over $1.1 million dollars.
Joanne Weiss has been the Volunteer Services Chair of the Shaw Charity Classic since year 1. While she was originally hesitant about the role, Joanne now dedicates more time than most other volunteers by leading the charge on all uniform package building, coordinating the package pick-up and managing the volunteer tent and its numerous services during tournament week. The Volunteer Services committee is the first one on site each day and caters to the over 1,200 volunteers annually.
Joanne has chosen to direct her donation from Shaw to the Alberta Diabetes Foundation.
Each year, 1,100 generous and dedicated individuals – 150 of which have been with the tournament since the beginning — donate their time to help bring the Shaw Charity Classic to life. The Volunteers of the Shaw Charity Classic, ranging from 13-90 years old, work over 14,000 hours to help keep the tournament’s operations running smoothly and ensure guests are well taken care of. Without the commitment of the volunteers, the tournament simply would not be possible.
On behalf of all of the volunteers, Shaw is donating $10,000 to the Shaw Charity Classic Foundation.