Golf fundraiser to tee off Recovery Month
Golfers will tee off at an event this weekend to help people affected by substance use disorder.
Michaele Parfitt-Smith is staging the Smith-Hendrickson tournament at Belmont Hills on Saturday to mark the start of Recovery Month — observed in September — and to raise funds for Focus Counselling Services.
She is joined in the effort by Calvin Hendrickson, one of the island’s leading senior amateur golfers.
Ms Parfitt-Smith said: “This is in recognition of myself and my brother-in-recovery.”
She added: “It’s a way for us to raise funds and for us to celebrate everything that we’ve accomplished, everything that we continue to accomplish, especially in the community.”
Mr Hendrickson, who is nine years in recovery, said: “Any event is a good event to raise funds to support the local community; anybody who’s willing to help out to do any kind of service work to assist in the recovery of others — it’s always good to help out.”
He added: “I’m looking forward to being able to see the people come out and enjoy themselves and maybe talk a little bit about what Focus is doing and how we would like to develop [the event] moving forward.”
The tournament will be suitable for teams of four with prizes on offer such as an overnight stay at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, brunch for two at Grotto Bay Beach Resort and a massage at La Serena Spa at The Reefs.
Entry costs $125 per player and proceeds will go to Focus Counselling Services.
Ms Parfitt-Smith explained: “Over the years I’ve managed to raise about $20,000.”
She said that Focus did "not receive a reasonable grant from the Bermuda Government“.
The Budget book showed that the charity was to receive $230,000 in 2022-23 — a $50,000 reduction on the 2021-22 revised estimate.
Ms Parfitt-Smith said that her fundraising efforts helped Focus to provide fresh food for its clients, including walk-ins.
She added: “It’s about treating people — that forgotten part of our society — like human beings.”
Ms Parfitt-Smith said that the golf event would allow her to encourage people to keep moving.
She added: “A message that we still don’t carry throughout recovery is about our health and that’s definitely where I’m coming from every year when I do my events. They’re all focused around movement, physical activity and health and wellness.”
Ms Parfitt-Smith said: "We focus a lot on our mental health, we focus a lot on becoming productive citizens to the community, building our lives back and evolving.
“We get so busy with this that we forget that we have to take care of our bodies.”
Ms Parfitt-Smith, who survived addiction, highlighted the importance of health and wellness for recovery.
She added: “After people kind of jump that obstacle of recovery, a lot of us are left with health issues whether it be depression, anxiety, diabetes — all of those really big ones.
“A lot of those can be prevented with daily exercise, a daily health routine, a daily wellness routine and it keeps you grounded.”
Ms Parfitt-Smith has also teamed up with Marcelos Thomas, whose Longtail golf tour has been running since May, to host the stand-alone tournament this weekend.
She said: “We’re both trying to do community things, so it’s almost like a little collaboration this year in support of the whole golf experience but also in support of each other.”
Mr Thomas said that the circuit he set up, which is in its first year and separate from the fundraiser, helped amateur golfers to become more familiar with individual tournament play.
He added that he was glad to be able to work with Ms Parfitt-Smith in organising the event for this weekend, when Longtail Tour games will also be played.
Mr Thomas said: “It gives her a bit more exposure and it also gives me a bit more exposure into a different realm of person.”
Leslie Grant, the executive director of Focus Counselling Services, said: “We would like to thank Michaele Parfitt-Smith for her continued support of Focus Counselling Services. We are most grateful for her annual fundraising efforts in support of those recovering from substance use disorder.”
He added: “Focus Counselling Services provides supportive residency — sober living — for males who have completed treatment, residential treatment and outpatient counselling services which include substance use disorder, gambling disorder and an impaired-driving education programme.
“During 2020 to May 2022 we were also able to provide fresh healthy meals to the community made possible by Mickey, our corporate donors and Friends of Focus.”
• For more information or to take part in Saturday’s tournament, message Michaele Parfitt-Smith on 518-6219