Event organizers hope to raise more than $ 50,000 for charity.
THUNDER BAY – The golf balls flew from the sky on Friday afternoon helping raise funds in memory of golfer Dustin Barr.
Golf Balls From Heaven, a sophomore fundraiser, saw nearly 5,000 balls thrown from a low-flying helicopter onto a makeshift green in the middle of the 18th fairway at Whitewater Golf Course.
It turned out that Mike Golding owned Ball # 509, which earned him the grand prize.
“That’s unbelievable, I still can’t believe it,” said Golding, who was reached by phone shortly after it was discovered that his ball was closest to the pen.
“The days don’t get any better than this. Right on.”
Barr died in March 2020 at the age of 24 after a long battle with cancer after playing college golf at Thomas University in Georgia and a career highlight at the 2017 Staal Foundation Open in Thunder Bay.
Dustin Wilson, a junior golf instructor who helped organize the charity event and golf tournament, said the golf community wanted to do something to honor Barr’s memory.
“We expect to total more than $ 50,000 this year and hope we can raise a little more money today to increase that,” said Wilson. “It’s nice to give back to charities that have helped Dustin along the way.”
Recipients of Friday’s events included the Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics and Children’s Wish, who helped Barr take a trip to Scotland while suffering from early cancer.
“We keep Dustin’s dreams alive, that’s what we call them,” said Wilson.
This year’s event raised $ 60,000, of which $ 37,000 went to Special Olympics through the ball drop.