Sunday, 24th September 2023

I’m tapping from golfers’ goodwill to save lives, says Imoke

By Babs Odukoya
25 December 2009   |   1:05 pm
ONLY in its second edition, the Mary Slesssor Charity Golf Tournament has met the objectives it was set up to, so says the originator of the tourney and wife of the Cross River State Governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke. Concerned by the plight of abandoned children and pregnant teens that lack medical and emotional attention, Imoke incorporated a charity golf tourney into the yearly Calabar Carnival. The event was also to enhance tourism as well as attract more children and women into the game of golf as a healthy and rewarding sport that can be used as an empowerment tool.

Mainly, the tourney was to raise funds for the provision of comfortable accommodation, care and medical needs for the innocent, abandoned children in the state. Fund raised during the maiden edition helped in providing for 53 abandoned babies, even as some street children in Calabar were welcomed into their new home called Destiny Child Centre on October 11, 2009.

Imoke said on her choice of a golf championship to raise funds for the project: “Golfers I know are very charitable, good people and I thought a charity golf tournament was a good thing to place on the table and say, ‘listen, we are doing this tournament for the benefit of this class of people.’

“I believe it was well received by them in the first instance, so that is why we are doing it again. I am very happy and appreciative of what I have seen so far. I’m further encouraged by the amount of support that we have had, the number of people that left what they should be doing to come and show solidarity. It has been a wonderful venture, I must hasten to say.”

On the rationale behind treating the golfers to a business session – the Investors Forum – within the tourney period, she said that, “bringing investors vis–vis high networth individuals to Calabar to play golf naturally follows that I expose them to the several opportunities that abound in the state, where they can also make some good money for themselves.

“Mind you, the state will also benefit from their investments. So that informed the inclusion of the Investors Forum within the period of the tournament.”