Published: 19/07/2012 11:28 - Updated: 19/07/2012 14:28

Castle Stuart birdie baggers raise £30,000 for charities

Written byBy Laurence Ford

All smiles at Castle Stuart, Hannah Archibald, CHAS, Heather Forbes, Befrienders Highland, Martin Gilbert, CEO Aberdeen Asset Management, First Minister Alex Salmond, Roger Cornick, chairman of Aberdeen Asset Management and Criona Knight, CHAS.
All smiles at Castle Stuart, Hannah Archibald, CHAS, Heather Forbes, Befrienders Highland, Martin Gilbert, CEO Aberdeen Asset Management, First Minister Alex Salmond, Roger Cornick, chairman of Aberdeen Asset Management and Criona Knight, CHAS.

BIRDIES are the toast of the day for two Scottish charities – but not the feathered variety.

For birdie baggers at the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open have raised £30,404 for Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland (CHAS) and Befrienders Highland.

Thanks to the players and fans during last week’s event at Castle Stuart Golf Links the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Birdie Pledge saw funds donated by both Aberdeen and the charitable arm of the European Tour, The Tour Players Foundation, for each birdie, eagle and albatross made by the players – of £10, £20 and £50 respectively.

The outstanding low scoring in evidence over the week, with 1873 birdies, the last of which was made by India’s Jeev Milkha Singh at the first play-off hole to seal victory over Francesco Molinari, and 22 eagles recorded helping swell the funds donated through the Birdie Pledge to almost £20,000.

The Birdie Pledge total was also bolstered by the holes-in-one of Peter Whiteford and Andrew Johnston as Aberdeen and the TPF made special to contributions of a further £168 for each – £1 for each yard of the 11th hole.

The spectators also played their part in supporting both charities when they received an Official Drawsheet by making a discretionary donation of £1.

These added in excess of £10,000 to the total that will enable the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open to have a positive charitable impact on the Inverness and Highland region.

CHAS fundraiser Hannah Archibald said: "A huge thank you to Aberdeen Asset Management, The European Tour and everyone who has contributed to this fantastic amount.

"The money will go towards our CHAS at Home service in the Highlands which is based from our Inverness office and offers care to families when they need extra help at home outwith their visits to our hospices.

"£15,000 pays for almost a month of 24 hour one to one nursing care for a family. The visits provide practical help and support that can be a lifeline to families."

And David Stallard, of Befrienders Highland, said: "This will have a huge impact. It will fund 100 friendships for a year. For each one of these friendships this will mean 50 or so meetings, outings, phone calls, letters and other contacts which will truly change lives.

"Words can hardly express how grateful we are to Aberdeen Asset Management, The European Tour, and to all the individual spectators who contributed to the charity collections at the event. The golfers who scored the birdies, eagles and holes-in one which triggered the funding pledges deserve special mention too. We sincerely thank everyone involved."

European Tour charity executive David Park added: "The mutual goal of the Tour Players’ Foundation and Aberdeen was for the championship to give back to the local and Highland area, we are extremely glad that the fundraising was so successful, we commend the spectators for their generosity and the players for their excellent play over the four days."

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