More than 100 women donned their pink colours and took to the links at Laytown and Bettystown on Monday, August 21 for their inaugural Play in Pink Open Competition to raise funds and publicity for the National Breast Cancer Awareness Institute. (www.PlayinPink.com)
The event was a major success with all tee-slots filled and demand far exceeding supply as the club membership and those from clubs far and wide rallied to support a cause that has touched just about every family, in every community, the length and breadth of the country.
“It was our first year doing it and we started off small with just the ladies,” said Laytown and Bettystown member and event coordinator Joan Whyte, “and it went fabulously. We had super support from all the ladies and everybody made such an effort to wear their pink. The sun was shining for us, it was a bit windy, but it was absolutely gorgeous.”
Between the funds raised directly and in the subsequent raffle, somewhere in the region of €3,000 was raised for the charity and seeing the success of the inaugural staging, it’s set to become a permanent fixture and will expand in years to come.
“We don’t have the exact amount yet,” Whyte explained, “and as I said, that was just starting off small – we didn’t have the whole day, that was just part of the day.
“We had a little over 100 players, but we’ve got great plans for next year, to do bigger and better and include the men as well. We’ll get them dressing in their pink as well.”
Fundraisers for Breast Cancer Research have been regular occurrences down through the years at Laytown and Bettystown, but the club decided to join the national Play in Pink campaign for the event this year. “We got super support from the Play in Pink team,” she added, “and it was probably more successful because we got that support. It was highlighted and promoted better and that was reflected in the number of players looking to get in.”
Some of the club’s golfing royalty were among those who took to the fairways for the event as well with former international stars Phil Wickham and Noleen Quirke and members of the club’s 1988 and 2014 Senior Cup winning sides adding their support. “Miriam [Hand, from Play in Pink] was down yesterday and she ran into Phil Wickham and Noeleen Quirke,” Whyte said, “so she was delighted to see them out playing.
“I’d like to give special thank you to Miriam Hand from Play in Pink, she was a super help and came down yesterday to give her support. She’s a great lady.”
The event’s success was the icing on the cake for the club after Alex Maguire, one of the standout stars of the current crop, was selected for the Walker Cup team to play the United States at St. Andrews next week, and Whyte spoke of the pride everybody in the club is feeling. “It’s great, we’re all so proud of him and delighted for him. He’s a great chap and a lovely lad.”
As a parting gift, Whyte wished to extend advice and support for any clubs considering running similar events. “Just do it,” she said, “and the Play in Pink team will give you loads of support. We had it as an Open Competition, but because so many of our own ladies wanted to play in it, we weren’t able to accommodate as many outside players as wanted to play. There were many ringing up and looking to play but there were no spaces left, so if you can run it as an Open competition, do so. It was our first year running it so we did it as a singles competition, but next year we’re thinking of doing it as a team of four, but the more people you can get out, the better.”
For any clubs wishing to run a Play in Pink event you can register your event and receive support by CLICKING HERE.