Fred Lee’s Social Network: Acing Funds For Arts


By Fred Lee

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Steve Verhoeff recorded an epic hole-in-one at the Nicola Wealth Management Arts Umbrella Golf Tournament and drove away with a luxury vehicle valued at more than $100,000.

Verhoeff’s ace was the first in the history of the two-decades-old charity golf tournament at Point Grey Golf and Country Club, where the yearly fundraiser was held. Verhoeff’s dream day would continue as his foursome of Joe ClainJustin Lee and Dave Vanegmond would post the day’s lowest score, earning bragging rights, a host of prizes and the traditional robes of honour at the banquet dinner following the day of golf and camaraderie.

An important source of revenue for Arts Umbrella, 136 players hit the fairways of Point Grey Golf and Country Club for the arts organization’s flagship summer event, presented by Nicola Wealth Management and chaired by Lawson Lundell’s Angela Austman and Goldcorp’s Randall Chatwin.

Another 60 guests would convene for the post-event dinner back at the clubhouse where more excitement ensued during the live auction and raise a paddle portion of the program, which supported bursaries for students who would otherwise not be able to participate in arts programs.

First, Verhoeff, an invited guest of Nicola Wealth Management CEO John Nicola and president David Sung, would give back in a big way purchasing a $20,000 Bon Vivant catered dinner with Arts Umbrella CEO Paul Larocque in the auction.

Nicola and Sung followed suit pledging $40,000 in matching funds in the outright ask for cash. Attendees responded in spades with donations ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Before the sun would set behind the fairways, the great day of golf and fundraising would net a record-setting $240,000 for the country’s preeminent visual and performing arts school for young people.

More than 20,000 students discover their creative side each year, with two-thirds participating at little to no cost to their families thanks to the generosity of individuals, businesses and community programs, said Heather Altas, the firm’s chief fundraiser.

The Nicola Wealth Management golf team of David and Tassan Sung and John and Claire Nicola led the day of generosity that saw a record $240,000 netted for Arts Umbrella.
Musical theatre students Jennifer Shannon and Hamish Marrisen Clarke received a standing ovation for their rousing version of Don’t Sop Believing, orchestrated by instructor Andy Toth. The student performance kicked off Arts Umbrella’s fundraising festivities.
Arts Umbrella CEO Paul Larocque congratulated Steve Verhoeff on his winning day. He drove away with a luxury vehicle valued at more than $100,000 after recording a hole-in-one at the Nicola Wealth Arts Umbrella Golf Tourney.
Businessman David Richardson and Arts Umbrella board member Ann Goldberg were among supporters who gathered for the yearly golf outing to support students, who would otherwise may not have been able to participate in arts programs, receive bursaries or scholarships.
Dr. Raymond McConnville and Hill and Knowlton’s Joy Jennissen, incoming chair of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, attended Arts Umbrella’s flagship summer fundraiser that saw a record haul netted for the venerable arts institution.
Member of Parliament Pamela Goldsmith-Jones (West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country) was welcomed to the golf tourney and dinner by board of director Ernest Yee and Arts Umbrella founder Carol Henriquez. Goldsmith-Jones brought greetings on behalf of the federal government.