Golfers par- take in raising over £43,000 for Chai Cancer Care

On Wednesday 29th June, 92 golfers tee’d off at a sell-out field at Dyrham Park Country Club to compete in the 17th annual Club 18 golf tournament in aid of Chai.

The event, hosted by the dedicated Club 18 Golf Committee, Michael Lubliner, Ronnie Gottlieb OBE, Michael Lerner and Michael Davis raised in excess of £43,000 which will go towards the ‘Chai in Schools’ programme. This vital service supports children affected by a cancer diagnosis, either themselves or someone in their family and also gives teachers/ SENCOs who may never have encountered this situation before, advice and training in how to respond appropriately to the pupil’s needs in these situations.

Les Abrahams, Howard Joseph, Ralph Kossman and Russell Samson made up the winning men’s team by earning an impressive total of 94 points. The winning ladies’ team were Rosamund Balcombe, Hayley Herman, Angela Stern and Phillipa Wainer who scored a wonderful 82 points.

In the afternoon, the golfers heard from Chai client, Jack Aboody. Everyone in the room was moved when he gave an emotive and personal account about his wife’s stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis in November 2020, his family’s journey and how Chai have supported them. Jack said: “My wife Genna contacted Chai and was made to feel cared for straight away. She wanted to know if the children could get some counselling and if she could too. She also elected to have some exercise classes which really made her feel like she was getting stronger and would be able to deal with the effects of the chemotherapy. She would look forward to the sessions every week.

Chai informed her of the children’s counselling service that is offered. We were a little worried that counselling would scare the children and that they would not feel comfortable talking to someone they didn’t know. This is when we found out about other ways in which counselling can be provided. My daughter was offered art therapy and my son was offered music therapy. They expressed feelings and emotions in their art and music playing. Genna and I got to speak to the therapists about the children’s’ progress and we could see that it was helping them on a journey which we are still on.

Sadly, Genna died in January and through our continuing sessions with Chai my children and I have been able to continue our lives and this journey with great support. The children feel connected to their therapists and progressively get more and more from their sessions.  I have been supported by my counsellor and am able to accept my life as it carries on.

I have recently joined a Chai bereavement support group for people in a similar predicament to me and I have found this to be so helpful and appropriate on my journey as I move from one grief stage to another. I really owe a debt of gratitude to Chai and all their wonderful staff.  I don’t think the family could have functioned this well through all of this without them.” 

The Committee Chairmen commented: “after a difficult few years for everyone, ‘it was great to finally have our Club 18 Golf Day back to normality. A huge thanks to the wonderful generosity of our main sponsors Wilson Wright and the Kirsh Foundation and all the other loyal supporters who helped contribute to another successful day. The weather could not dampen the tremendous atmosphere, or the motivation of the players and the feedback received has only been positive. We are already looking forward to next year… our special 18th – ‘Chai’ anniversary!”