Friends of Diakiw Invitational

December 28, 2016

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Hear about Lennie & Nellie's passion for Adopt-A-Family in this video.


Since 2012, Lennie and Nellie Diakiw gathered with friends in the fall at the Victoria Park East Golf Club for a friendly tournament, auction, and dinner to raise funds for the Children's Foundation Adopt-A-Family Program through the Friends of Diakiw Invitational. From a simple intention to do something to give back to the community, this annual tournament has grown over the years and has collectively raised over $40,000 - all to help local families and brighten spirits at Christmastime. We are so grateful for their support and pleased to recognize them in 2017 as Champion donors in our Donor Hall of Fame!

Here's Lennie's story of how the "little tournament that could" has grown:

"When Nellie and I moved to Guelph in 2005, we immediately fell in love with the town. Together we said that we should do something to give back to the community, something that we have never really taken seriously before.  Well, it took seven years for us to do it, but finally in September of 2012 we decided to get together with some of our closest friends that we met in Guelph for a little golf tournament, which just happened to fall on my birthday.  There was only about 15 or so of us.  We invited everybody back to our home after the tournament for a barbeque and a game of poker.  I remember the day like it was yesterday. The rain was blowing sideways, and it was a very cool night.  With the barbeque set-up on the driveway, we cooked some dinner and started our night of poker. As the evening progressed, Nellie and I decided to pass a cap around for donations, not yet knowing what we would do with the funds. One thing led to another and suddenly the winners of the poker games were putting their winnings in the cap too.  That night alone, we ended up raising about $1,100, and decided to give the funds to the Children's Foundation Adopt-A-Family Program.

Word spread about our golf tournament and many other members of the golf course where I'm a member asked us if we would do it again the next year. They asked if we could open it up to other friends, mainly fellow members of the golf course. 

The event has not failed and we have always been able to get as many people involved in the golf tournament as we hoped for.  We wanted to keep it small enough to make it a fun, non-competitive day, yet big enough to raise enough money to help make a difference in our community.  With the help of many prize sponsors, and the graciousness of our hosts, the owners of the Victoria Park East Golf Club, we have raised over $40,000 for the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington County. 

Nellie and I would wish to thank the Foundation for all the great work that you do.  it is our honor to say that we are a small part of the continued success. It is so gratifying to know that our event has helped so many families at Christmas in some way."  ~ Lennie Diakiw