Golf fundraising drive raises $12,000 for heart research

April 1, 2021 BY

Barry Stewart, David O’Connor, Richard Lewis and Chris O’Connor at the Jeff Wall Golf Classic.

CHARITY fundraising event the Jeff Wall Golf Classic at Lonsdale Links golf course in Point Lonsdale has raised $12,000 for heart research.

Jeff Wall suffered a heart attack while out for a run in August 2017.

It was shocking, unexpected and left wife Wendy Wall and friends asking ‘Why?’.

In December 2017, David O’Connor was one of a small group of Jeff and Wendy’s friends who got together to play golf in honour of Jeff for whom golf was a regular Saturday morning activity.

“It started as a very impromptu small event four years ago, we purchased a pewter mug and called it the Jeff Wall classic,” Mr O’Connor said.

“It’s a day to share stories, have fun and talk about your issues.

“We know that men are less skilled in discussing their health problems, so it’s about that too.”

There was initially only about a dozen people involved but then others said they would like to attend and each year attendance has grown.

Last week a staggering $12,000 was raised for the Heart Foundation.

“It was extremely well supported by the community, we had nearly 90 participants,” Ms Wall said.

“The day was very successful – perfect weather for a walk in the park as the saying goes.

“Over 80 players had lots of good shots, a few bad, and lots of laughs.”

This year the group received a $1500 sponsorship from the East Ivanhoe and Heidelberg Bendigo Bank branches, which was matched by both LC Water and Trak Construction.

“Before the day had started, we had already raised $4,500 which far exceeded our expectations,” Mr O’Connor said.

They also had a successful raffle and an auction which was run by auctioneer Tom Butters.

According to the Heart Foundation, more than four million Australians live with cardiovascular disease and it is responsible for one in four deaths.

But thanks to research, medications, interventions and community awareness over the last 10 years deaths have been declining.

Ms Wall previously told the Times that since the Jeff Wall Golf Classic started, five more people in their network had also experienced heart trouble.

“A couple of them said if it wasn’t for Jeff they wouldn’t have gone to the doctors in the first place,” she said.

Ms Wall hopes the event will raise awareness about heart disease so others will not go through the same experience.

More information on reducing the risk of heart disease is available at heartfoundation.org.au.

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