“I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to these wonderful rugby people who never fail to support Canadian Rugby. Thank you never seems enough but we sincerely mean it.” – Damian McGrath Canada Sevens Head Coach
A group headed by Karl Fix, Rick Bourne, Mark Wyatt and Mike Holmes ran the first LATE LUNCH to raise money for sevens and other Rugby programs assisted by the Canadian Rugby Foundation.
Gren Thomas kindly donated all of the copious food and drink at his pub the Red Lion. The event was attended by over 75 people who donated 650 each to the cause and were welcomed by volunteer Deb McGrath at the door.
Many former internationals attended including recent Hall of Fame inductees Mark Wyatt and Hans de Goede, the Carson brothers, John Lecky, Matt Kokan, Ro Hindson, former Canadian coach Gary Johnston as well as Tom Woods who ran the auction.
A formal jersey presentation was made to the current sevens team by some of the guests followed by the auction. Generous donations by Langara Lodge headlined the auction as well as holiday week in Mexico by former Rugby Canada director Christina Flores though the promise of a year free of contact from Karl Fix was one of the most hotly contested. A surprise donation of a personally hosted west coast fishing trip by Andrew Purdey finished off the successful auction.
The atmosphere of the event was very positive and the guests met and mingled with the team and coaching and training staff, perhaps contributing in a small way to the success of the team on the weekend.
Due to the fact all expenses were covered by donations and volunteers the net proceeds of approximately 80k will all go directly to Rugby and will be divided amongst the Men’s Sevens team, the Women’s National team through the Monty Heald Fund and the Howler’s rugby development programs.
The organizers hope to make this an annual event to benefit Rugby Canada men’s and women’s programs.