It's been a busy stretch for Matt Robinson, Rideau View Golf Club's director of instruction and program development, and the benefactors of Robinson's work have been all over the map.
First, and most importantly, Robinson raised another $37,707 with his Longest Day of Coaching initiative, an annual event in which he donates the proceeds from his better than 24-hours of giving instruction, to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
That brings the total since he started the initiative to $330,330.
"It's totally exceeded what we thought would be possible when we started," Robinson said. "We never meant for it to get this big. I was surprised when we added everything up and it came to that."
Under the direction of Matt's wife, Dayna, and the CHEO Foundation's manager of major gifts, Tracy Donohue, the money raised this year has been used to purchase:
• a Cytogenic Drying Chamber which enables lab technicians to perform genetic tests in an ideal environment to analyze the chromosomes. The cytogenics lab processes more than 3,000 samples a year for 2,500 patients. It's particularly valuable in the treatment of Leukemia since it can help determine the best protocol based on the patient's genetic makeup. ($15,000).
• a Hybridization Oven/Shaker which also is used in the genetics lab to keep samples at a constant temperature and in constant motion, required for accurate results ($6,950).
• two Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) which amplify sound through the skull bone. They are used for children who are not candidates for cochlear implants. ($8,000).
• a Tympanometer which is used to assess the integrity of the eardrum and middle ear. ($4,640).
• Cochlear Implant loaner equipment to be used when a child's own devices require repair or adjustment. ($2,000).
• a donation to the Brock MacMurray Endowment Fund which helps enhance the expertise and education of NICU nurses. ($1,117).
Robinson has also been on the road. He was at Coppinwood Golf Club in Uxbridge, ON, to work with ScoreGolf in the preparation of a series of three tips which will appear on ScoreGolf's various media platforms in the coming year.
"It was a pretty eye-opening experience when you see what's involved with the photographer and the artistic director and the detail," he said.
Here is an inside story about the staging of tips which involved a variety of shots around the green: Robinson had decided to switch his clubs to a new Titleist bag for the shoot. When the entourage arrived at Coppinwood's three practice holes to shoot the series of tips, they realized they didn't have any golf balls!
Matt hadn't switched any golf balls over to the new bag.
"We had one golf ball, which one of the guys had found on his way out there," he said. "We were doing a tip out of the bunker and we just kept relaying the ball back and forth."
Robinson, who's a pretty low key guy, said he normally wouldn't have agreed to do something like tips for a golf magazine, but "I ask my students to step out of their comfort zone, so I should practice what I preach."
He also helped three of his students in the Rideau View Vision2020 program get to the OFSAA - the provincial high school championships - shuttling between Port Elgin and Windsor. Rideau View member Griffin Jones and Jared Coyle competed in the boys' championship at Saugeen Golf Club in Port Elgin and Dylan Armstrong competed in the girls' championship in Windsor.
Jones and Armstrong won their respective Ottawa West tournaments at Emerald Links. That qualified Armstrong as an individual for the provincial high school championship. Jones and Coyle qualified through the National Capital tournament at Rideau View with Jones shooting a 68 and Coyle a 73.
At OFSAA, Jones finished tied for second with a 36-hole total of 2-over par 146 and Coyle tied for seventh at 5-over. In the girls championship, Dylann Armstrong finished 10th.
It's been a busy few weeks for Robinson, but the results and benefits of the miles traveled and the money raised will impact the lives of young people in our community for some time.