Drive-ing Progress for Change

Legendary Canadian golfer, David Hearn has had a long and successful career spanning several professional tours.  After playing in Canada and Asia early in his career, this Brantford, native broke through in 2004, winning on both PGA Tour Canada and the Tour.  Over a decade later, Hearn shows no signs of slowing down. In fact in 2015 alone, he collected eight Top 25 finishes, including four Top 10 results and third place in Canada’s national tournament —  the RBC Canadian Open.

Off the greens, Hearn is also making waves with his philanthropic brand — the David Hearn Foundation. Working in support of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the primary goal of the foundation is to reduce the personal and social impacts of this debilitating disease. This is done through raising funds to provide individuals and families with needed programs and services across the country. In addition, the foundation aims to increase awareness, improve care for those in need and enhance the quality of life for those affected by the disease, while also empowering Canadians to take action and create positive change.

Hearn himself is no stranger to the devastating effects of this disease, as both his grandmother and great-grandmother suffered from the illness. “Alzheimer’s is a disease that has impacted my family directly. Because of that, I feel a need to get involved and try to provide assistance to other individuals and their families that have been affected by the disease, and help them through what my family experienced firsthand” said Hearn. “I have been working with the local Alzheimer Society chapters over the past few years, and partnering with the organization on a national level as my Foundation’s first initiative is a great way to take our relationship to the next step. I am excited to work with the Alzheimer Society on impactful initiatives and look forward to taking positive steps toward awareness of the disease, control and prevention.”

While the foundation wasn’t officially launched until 2015, Hearn’s charitable efforts with the Alzheimer Society have been going on for several years through the annual David Hearn Charity Golf Classic, which has provided financial contributions to the Alzheimer Society of Brant Haldimand Norfolk Hamilton and Halton since 2012.

“David Hearn’s generous support over the past four years has helped our organization meet the needs of more than 4,000 families affected by dementia in the Brant, Hamilton and Halton communities through education, counselling and support programs,” said Mary Burnett, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Brant Haldimand Norfolk Hamilton Halton.

This year marks the fifth edition of the event, which will take place in Hearn’s home base of Brantford, Ontario at Brantford Golf and Country Club on Monday, July 25th, 2016. Once again, the David Hearn Charity Golf Classic promises to be an exciting day of great golf, delicious food and lively entertainment. In 2015, the event donated a staggering $120,000, so this year the foundation hopes to surpass this with the goal of raising $150,000 — which will be split between the local and national Alzheimer Society chapters.

The foundation hopes to further bolster fundraising by selling The David Hearn Foundation Hat, embroidered David Hearn Foundation logo on the front and an embroidered David Hearn signature on the back. Proceeds from the sales go towards the Alzheimer Society of Canada. David’s partner, Extendicare Assist, also has committed to donating an additional $2.00 CAD from every sale to continue Extendicare and David Hearn’s commitment to the organization.

Perhaps the most promising initiative unveiled by the foundation, involves a new partnership with Rockway Vineyards that will see the property and Hearn work together to develop a special edition wine collection under The David Hearn Foundation label. This label will be released this spring, with one red and one white available, with a portion of proceeds going back to the David Hearn Foundation.

David Hearn’s partnership with Rockway Vineyards will also see Rockway’s golf course become host to the David Hearn Junior Open — a new initiative launched in conjunction with the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA). The annual two-day tournament will create an interactive environment, where junior golfers can compete in an elite field, spend time with Hearn, receive mentorship, and learn about the development process from an amateur golfer to a professional, and how to have success on the world-class stage of the PGA TOUR.

“I am looking forward to working with the team at Rockway to put into action some of my long-term visions, including supporting two areas I feel strongly about,” said Hearn. “First, developing a custom wine label that will support my Foundation and benefit a cause I care deeply about; second being part of an event at an established course that will provide opportunities and support for junior golf development in the region.”