Return of popular Olivia Cullen golf tournament

Return of popular Olivia Cullen golf tournament

11 July 2018

THE Olivia Cullen Memorial golf tournament returns this summer to St Patrick’s Golf Club in Downpatrick.

The event on Friday, August 3, will raise money for the A&E department at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC).

Little Olivia passed away at the age of just 18 months in May 2012 after fighting a number of illnesses in her short life.

She had a rare chromosomal condition  — HMG-CoA synthase deficiency — which meant her body did not respond as it should when she contracted a norovirus on Christmas Day 2011.

After being rushed into the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Olivia had lengthy waits for an adult MRI scanner — the hospital being the only one of its kind in the UK or Ireland not to have its own children’s scanner.

While quicker scans would not have ultimately saved Olivia, it would have lessened the family’s trauma.

One of the Downpatrick family’s first fundraisers raised £20,000 for Children’s Heartbeat Trust — one of several charities fundraising for the Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal. In 2016 they were invited to the official opening of the scanner.

Despite their sadness, they have always been determined to do something positive in Olivia’s name and have so far raised over £50,000 in her memory.

Mum Emma said: “This is the sixth year we have decided to raise money. We, as a family, believe that the Emergency Department of the RBHSC is a very important charity and one we hold very close to our hearts.

“Last year we raised £5,800 for respiratory equipment for RBHSC. The total we have raised so far is £53,000.

“We are trying to raise as much money as we can for this very important and cherished charity.”

The family have also been asking local businesses to help through sponsorship or by donating prizes for the prize draw.

Sponsorship options are available, such as sponsoring a hole for £50. A dedicated tee time for four people is £100. Both GUI and non-GUI members are invited to play.

Tee times can be booked through Daniel Teggart (07783 553636), Ryan Teggart (07849 633681) or Philip Cullen (07846 170305). Further details are also available from Emma Cullen (07832 989205).

Ballot tickets will be sold before and during the golf tournament and the family welcome prizes from local businesses. The draw will take place following the presentation of prizes on the evening of August 3.

You can also follow the Olivia Cullen Memorial Golf Tournament on Facebook.