The 2017 edition of the CRAB tournament held on Saturday, November 18, and its pre-tournament auction held on Friday, November 17, significantly set a new record for raising funds that go into the SunBird Golf Course capital fund. As reported in previous articles, this tournament evolved from the original Sand Trap tournament that was born in 2008. The concept of a pre-tournament auction to supplement the proceeds generated from the tournament entry fees started in earnest in 2013 and it has grown in both popularity among the golfing community and the SunBird community at large, and in the amount of money generated.
In the same timeframe, the tournament was redesigned to become the Team Championship tournament or better known as the CRAB tournament. This year, the tournament and auction generated a total of $30,000. Of that amount, the auction alone generated $25,191. This new and significant auction record beat the previous high mark of $13,848, set in 2015. Since its inception, including the Sand Trap Tourney, the total money raised, including tournament entry fees, is approximately $115,500. Proceeds from the auctions total about $65,000, or 56% of the total, ergo, the significance and importance of auctions for the golf course.
Why the success of the auctions? The answer comes down to one individual. This one individual is Joel Sybesma, SunBird’s talented and experienced auctioneer. Joel not only organizes and conducts the auction, but he also spends countless hours during the months preceding the auction preparing for it. Examples of his effort are raising money from individual donors and from sponsors to fill the large money jars that are auctioned off; in procuring a donated refurbished golf cart from A-1 Golf Carts and in working with other sponsors for donations. Joel is to be commended for his efforts in support of the golf course.
What is the money generated used for? As mentioned above, the money goes into the golf course capital fund. This year, a portion of the funds were earmarked for the purchase of a new tractor which was on display during the tournament and auction.
Who won the tournament? This tournament, which is a competition between the Canadians, Roadrunners, Americans and Bandits, was won, for the third straight year, by the American team. The remaining order of finish was the Canadians, Bandits and Roadrunners. A unique feature of this tournament is that there is no prize money awarded to the players. All money goes to the golf course. The only thing that the winners go away with is bragging rights for the coming year.
It would be remiss if the work of the CRAB tournament committee and especially that of the chairman, Wes Akerman, was not cited for their background efforts in putting this event on.