Charity golf tournament does a hole lot of good!

The European leg of the 2011 RCI Christel House Open golf tournament has been hailed a huge success, raising £15,000 for the children’s charity.

The event, held at Ealing Golf Club in Middlesex, UK, in June, attracted executives from the shared ownership and hospitality industries – both as competitors and spectators – who enjoyed a sunny day’s golf followed by a gala dinner and charity auction.

Eleven teams of four players took part in the tournament, with a number of individual competitions also taking place throughout the day. The overall winners were the team from Club La Costa (CLC), featuring Neal Warren, Freddy Botha, Rossi Goddard and Fraser Murphy.

The runners-up slot went to RCI’s first team of Steven Dow, Andy Miln, Andy Elliott and Martin Anderson, with third place going to First National Trustee Company (FNTC), whose team comprised Lee Dowling, John Colby, Chris Pearce and Darren Ettridge.

Individual competition winners were:

• Warren Joy, International Cruise and Excursions (ICE) – Nearest the Pin

• Freddy Botha, CLC – Longest Drive

• Keith Evans, Vision AM team – Putting.

After the tournament the players were joined by additional guests to watch a video about the work of Christel House before enjoying a gala dinner and charity auction compered by industry veteran Malcolm Wood.

Auction prizes donated by several companies included flights to New York with hotel accommodation and return travel on the Queen Mary, a week’s stay in a one-bedroom suite at Silverpoint’s Dorrabay Resort in Dubai, two weeks at Paradise Kings Club in Cyprus, one week in a Landal Greenparks bungalow for six people in the Netherlands or Germany, one week in a three-bedroom, three bathroom property at La Quinta at La Manga, and two days at Thurnham Hall and Broome Park.

The auction, alongside sponsorship and other activities, helped raise money that will go directly into programmes and services to help children attending Christel House learning centres in India, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela and the US.

Vivienne Noyes-Thomas, European Development Coordinator of Christel House, said: “Everyone had a really enjoyable day at Ealing Golf Club and thanks to the generosity of all our sponsors and those who bid for auction prizes we raised more than £15,000 that will help us to continue transforming the lives of the children in our care.

“On behalf of everyone at Christel House, I’d like to say a big thank you to the players and all those who supported the event in so many different ways, behind the scenes as well as out on the course.”

Dimitris Manikis, RCI’s vice president, Business Development, EMEA, said: “RCI has always taken great pride in supporting Christel House and the incredible work it does to transform the lives of impoverished children around the world.

“The tournament was a great opportunity for industry executives to come together and enjoy a great game of golf and networking, as well as raising money for the charity. Everyone had a terrific day, and even more so in the knowledge that they were helping to make a difference.”

The Christel House Open, a charity golf tournament on a global scale, is now in its 9th year, and RCI is its Global Title Sponsor. The European event’s signature sponsor was Nexus Leisure, while the gold sponsors were FNTC and CLC.

Additional sponsors included Vision AM, The Hoseasons Group, Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket, Pueblo Evita/Fairways Club, Silverpoint, HMC Funding, RDO, Connex Group, Shorthose Russell and Generator Systems. Auction Prizes were provided by ICE, Silverpoint, LaQuinta at La Manga, Landal Greenparks, Paradise Kings Club and Diamond Resorts International.

Christel House was founded in 1998 by RCI founder Christel DeHaan, with the mission of helping children worldwide break the cycle of poverty. Today it serves more than 3,000 students, assisting them in optimising their potential to be productive and self sufficient through education. The charity has also implemented a support structure that ensures students are provided with ongoing support, medical care, guidance and transport costs.

• Anyone interested in playing at or supporting the 10th RCI Christel House Open in Europe in June 2012 should contact Amanda White at amanda.white@rci.com

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