It seems such a short time ago that Engineering Office Deisenroth Canada Engineering, Development and Licencing (EODC Inc.) held its first John Da Ponte Annual Golf Tournament. EODC employees and guests just finished its 4th annual golf tournament, raising close to $4000 for the ALS Society of Canada in John Da Ponte’s name.

Three people hold a large cheque that is for the ALS Society of Canada

Lianne Johnston from ALS Ontario accepts the donation presented by Luc Petit, Managing Director, and Michelle Harmon, Human Resources Manager

By way of explanation, John Da Ponte joined EODC in August 2008 and quickly became a valued member of the team. In March 2009, he was diagnosed with ALS. For many at the company this was the first they had heard of the disease let alone understand its devastating effects. Eventually John had to stop working. Although no longer physically present at the facility, he is never far from the thoughts of everyone at EODC. John is living at St. Vincent Hospital in Ottawa where, on April 21st, 2011, he got married to Lisa Marie Roe who also has ALS. Their love story can be found online at: http://alsont.ca/content/newsletters/Summer2011Newsletter.pdf.

The idea for the EODC golf tournament originated as a way to increase awareness about ALS. The extremely accommodating staff of the Pine View Municipal Golf Course in Ottawa understood that many taking part in the tournament had never touched a golf club before. The first golf tournament in September 2009 was incredibly successful with Vic Mulligan, Adam Pross, Curtis Henry and Bill Smith (New York Islanders alumni) winning the day with claims of a “ringer” on the team being strongly denied.

Based on the success of the first tournament, EODC decided to raise not only awareness but some money in the process, which generated over $1000 in June 2010 and $1500 in July 2011. The winners in 2010 were Steve Anderson, Wullie Gibson, Alonzo Hollis and Mike Mason, and in 2011, were George Bailey, John Greer, Frank Lidstone and Tyler Wallace.

This year the EODC team-building and fund-raising tournament was once again held at the Pine View Golf Course, on Friday July 13th, which was possibly not the best day to select. Under bright sunshine and humid conditions, however, 64 golfers took their golf clubs and wallets out. Through a series of fundraising activities including chipping and putting contests, the sale of mulligans, a 50/50 draw, a bake sale held previously, and pledge sheets, EODC, its employees and suppliers raised $3695. The winners of this year’s golf tournament were: Omar Hassan, John Kooiman, Luc Petit and Bill Smith.

Lianne Johnston from ALS Ontario accepted the donation, which was presented by Luc Petit, Managing Director, and Michelle Harmon, Human Resources Manager. Lianne has worked with both John and Lisa. She passed on John’s thanks and best wishes, and emphasized how important fund-raising efforts are to the ALS Society of Canada.

Thanks to the dedication of EODC’s core group of volunteers: Gerry Church, Lorne Conway, Michelle Harmon, Lisa Knopp, Ken Mole, Bert Schruder and Kim Whitlock, along with Sean Anderson added to the group as photographer, EODC employees and guests had a fantastic day.

John is very pleased with the amount raised for the ALS Society of Canada, and is spurring on EODC to keep raising the goal for next year.