MJF Golf News & Media

2014 Golf Tournament Celebrates 15th Year

Friday, June 27, 2014

Year after year, the Michael J. Fox Golf Tournament raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Burnaby arts community – and it all started as a humble fundraiser.

Fifteen years ago, Gary Morrey, chair of the board of directors of for the Michael J. Fox Theatre Society, and Chad Turpin, deputy city manager at the City of Burnaby, came up with the idea to host a charity golf tournament to raise funds for the theatre, located at Burnaby South secondary. The tournament and gala dinner were held at the Riverway Golf Course, raising a modest $4,000 for the society in its first year.

More than a decade later, the event has become one of Burnaby’s most popular charity events, bringing out nearly the maximum number of participants each year.

“We started off as a small golf tournament with Chad Turpin and myself running it,” Morrey said. “So now it’s quite a difference.”

This year’s event, held on June 27, once again saw 144 golfers take to the links at Riverway Golf Course to shoot 18 holes and socialize with Burnaby-bred Michael J. Fox himself.

“This year he brought his son Sam with him and his brother and his mother, and the usual entourage that he brings, which is very good,” Morrey said.

Despite the rain, Morrey said no spirits were dampened and the jovial mood continued on into the evening when 320 people gathered at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown for the gala dinner and live auction.

“It’s very upscale,” he said. “The star of the show, of course, is Michael.

This year, Michael participated in a question and answer period during the dinner, which Morrey said was very well-received by guests. Michael, who was quick on his feet to answer questions on his life in New York, his favourite restaurants and how he feels about his role on The Good Wife.

“It went over very well. People were really happy about it,” Morrey added.

The gala’s live auction was also one of the most exciting moments of the evening, according to Morrey – especially when it came down to bidding for a weekend trip to New York City, which included lunch with Michael J. Fox.

“It went in a frenzy for about $3,200. Quite a few people wanted that,” he said.

Overall the event raised $62,000 for the Michael J. Fox Theatre Society and scholarship fund. The scholarships are given to four or five students each year who demonstrate a desire to pursue an education in the arts – anything from performance art to stagecraft, Morrey added.

After 15 years of organizing and hosting the charity golf tournament, Morrey was happy to say the majority of sponsors and participants have come back again and again.

“About 75 per cent of the golfers have been golfing with us for 15 years and about 70 per cent of the sponsors, right from the beginning, stayed on board,” Morrey said.

Major sponsors for the 15th annual tournament included Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, DSDL Canada Investments LTD., Scotiabank, Michael J. Fox, Mission Hill Family Estate, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Align Entertainment, Burnaby Lake Greenhouses Ltd., Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society, City of Burnaby, Metrotown Mazda, Brentwood Mall, Michael J. Fox Theatre, Me ‘n’ Eds Pizza Parlors, Burnaby NOW, Bosa Properties, Golf Burnaby Riverway Golf Course, Vancouver Giants, Morrey Auto Group, Tourism Burnaby, and Cathay Pacific.

Special thanks to the Burnaby NOW for their support and encouragement!


2010 Tournament Honours Bill Fox, Michael Named Freeman of Burnaby

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Burnaby NOW, May 29, 2010

Local sports figures and celebrities were out in full swing last week for the annual Michael J. Fox Theatre Golf Tournament at the Riverway course.

Former Canucks bench boss Pat Quinn, Vancouver Giants owner Ron Toigo and actor Jackson Davies (best known for his role as Constable Constable on The Beachcombers) were among the 140 people who hit the links with Fox and friends for the annual fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Theatre at Burnaby South Secondary School.

The popular local tournament, now in its 11th year, has raised over $500,000 for theatre improvements and arts and entertainment scholarships for Burnaby students. “Michael played the full 18 holes, which was quite impressive for him to be able to do that,” said tournament organizer Garry Morrey of the famous former Burnabyite, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. “He was in very good form.”

“The highlight was that Michael became a Freeman of Burnaby, making him the first non-politician to receive the honour,” said Morrey. “Of all the awards he has been given over the years, he said this one was very important to him.” The title of “Freeman” - which is the highest award given by the City of Burnaby - is only granted to individuals who have provided outstanding community service and has only ever been granted to 16 other people.

Morrey estimated around $55,000 was raised at this year’s sold-out event, which included a gala dinner and silent auction at the Metrotown Vancouver Hilton of items such as models of the time-travelling DeLoreans featured in the Back to the Future trilogy and one of the actor’s guitars. Fox was also given the key to the city by Mayor Derek Corrigan and saw a local street renamed in memory of the actor’s father, who was once a police officer and member of the Canadian Armed Forces. “A couple of years ago I had the chance to bid on a street being renamed,” said Fox, who donated $10,000 to the theatre that bears his name for the winning bid. “The entrance to the Riverway Golf Course is now Bill Fox Way. It’s very exciting, a big thrill.” “Bill was a Burnaby boy, he grew up in north Burnaby and he would be very happy about this,” added Phyllis Fox, Michael’s mother.

The winners of this year’s Karen (Fox) Lang Memorial Trophy, named in honour of the actor’s sister who died unexpectedly three years ago, were Richard Florian, Brook Scott, Vince Florian and Nathan Hewitt of Me-n-Ed’s Pizza Parlors. This was fitting because, according to Michael’s mom, her son makes a point of grabbing a slice or two from Me-n-Ed’s whenever he is back home again.

Major sponsors of this year’s tournament include the Burnaby NOW, Morrey Auto Group, Burnaby Firefighters, Mission Hill Winery, BMO, Scotiabank, Terasen Gas, Bosa Properties, Taihan Global Canada, Canaccord, Burnaby Lake Greenhouses, Pepsi, ABC Recycling and Abbotsford Concrete Products.