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Golfing for Kids' Health

When Sean O’Hair was crowned champion of the 2011 RBC Canadian Open at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver last summer, he wasn’t the only winner. Thousands of families across British Columbia gained better support for their child’s illness. That’s because the RBC Canadian Open selected the BC Children's Hospital Foundation and the F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids' Mental Health as the local community charity beneficiaries for the 2011 edition of Canada's National Open Championship.

“RBC has always believed in giving back to important charitable causes in our local communities," said Graham MacLachlan, B.C. Regional President, RBC. "We are proud that the charitable proceeds from this year's tournament benefit two outstanding organizations -BC Children's Hospital and The F.O.R.C.E.-both of which RBC has supported and partnered with for a number of years."

BC Children's Hospital provides specialized pediatric care services for the province's most seriously ill or injured children, including newborns and adolescents. Caring for over 78,000 children annually, BC Children's Hospital is also the province's foremost teaching and research facility in the field of child health.

The F.O.R.C.E. (Families Organized for Recognition and Care Equality) Society for Kids' Mental Health is a registered non-profit society acting on behalf of the mental health of children, youth and their families through advocacy, education and support. The F.O.R.C.E. aspires to promote equality of care in children's mental health and ultimately influence change in mental health intervention.

The F.O.R.C.E. is using the donated funds to develop and implement Parent in Residence (PiR) and Youth in Residence (YiR) programs. The role of PiR/YiR is to act as navigator, educator and mentor, to assist young people and their families, and to enhance family partnerships across child, youth and young adult mental health and addictions services. The F.O.R.C.E. believes this will lead to more families, in more communities receiving support and knowledge sooner in their journey of seeking mental health for their children or themselves.

The philanthropic platform of Canada's National Open Championship is based on a joint commitment between Golf Canada and RBC to generate $5 million for charity over the first five years of RBC's sponsorship. Each year, the tournament selects a local charity partner to ensure that the event creates a lasting legacy in each year's host community. Since 2008, the first year of RBC's involvement, more than $3.1 million in charitable proceeds have been raised.