In 2008 Rotary Matamata embarked on an ambitious project to raise money for the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation – organising a 100-hole golf Marrowthon at the Tirau Golf Club.
Under the organisation and leadership of Matamata Rotarians Tony Wilding and David Hulme, the aim was to get as many golfers as possible to play 100 holes of golf in a day – hence the marathon and marrow play on words in the event’s name.
Players also had to commit to finding at least $2000 in sponsorship to take part. Eventually almost 40 golfers, including members of the St Peters Cambridge and Rotorua Boys’ High School golf academies took part in the 10-hour marathon.
Organisation included the need to source 25 golf carts from Auckland to enable players to get around the course three and a half times in the allocated time, the requirement to bring in marquee players and the requirements around food and drink for players and supporters.
Former Black Caps cricketer Robbie Hart and New Zealand’s leading amateur female player at the time Penny Smith (Newbrook) took part in the full event while former champion New Zealand jockey Lance O’Sullivan was also involved, playing holes with various players.
It was the first time that the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation had co-run the event with Rotary and the first time that it had been held outside of Auckland. Our club wanted to prove that this was a viable option in the rural community and fortunately it proved a huge success.
Thanks to one corporate golfer who raised $20,000 himself, and the hard work and dedication of the Rotary Matamata organising team – a staggering $64,000 was raised for the cause.
This was a project that was truly memorable for our club and one which we can be rightly proud of.