SURREY â€” A wish can make all the difference in a sick child’s life.
It could be a trip to Disneyland or a chance to meet their favourite athlete – whatever that wish may be, having it come true can be the difference between hope and despair.
Hope is what Surrey’s Al Lamons works to give sick children at the annual F.U.B.A.R (Friends United Beyond All Race) Golf Classic charity tournament, which will be held this Sunday, Sept. 7 in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC Yukon.
"When we grant these wishes it gives these kids hope and renewed strength to fight," said Lamons, the event’s organizer.
Perhaps better known as DJ Alibaba, Lamons has used his on-air reputation at radio stations, including Z95.3 FM and The Beat 94.5 FM, to help build the event from just 22 participants seven years ago to 70 and counting.
For Lamons, giving back and supporting children are what drive him to volunteer much of his time to this cause.
"I’ve experienced firsthand an adult investing into a child’s life. I had adults invest into my life. If those adults did not invest into my life, I would not be here today. I would be in jail or dead."
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC Yukon makes approximately 120 wishes come true every year for children fighting life-threatening illnesses.
Each wish costs on average $6,000 to $7,000 to grant.
Last year, Lamons’ golf tournament was able to raise enough to grant a wish for a Surrey child and he hopes the event will be able to raise even more this year.
"When these kids get their wishes and they get to go experience Disneyland or meet their favourite football team or favourite artist or have an experience they wouldn’t have had, it gives them hope and it energizes them," he said.
Several years ago, Lamons’ event helped raise enough money to buy a baby grand piano for a young girl fighting cancer.
The piano was given to her while she was being treated in the hospital.
"That just changed her whole outlook and perspective and gave her a renewed strength to fight and carry on. It really is about giving hope," Lamons said.
The young girl has been cancer-free for several years now, and comes to speak at another of Lamons’ annual events held at Splashdown water park in Tsawwassen.
Seeing kids make it through their illness is only half the story, though; it is often the memory of the children that have lost their fight with illness that keep Lamons working to raise more money each year.
This isn’t your average day on the golf course, though.
Lamons keeps the event fun and welcoming for everyone, and maintains the focus on raising money for sick kids.
This year he hopes that more women and novice golfers will play in the tournament.
"We welcome women – this is a co-ed tournament. We’ve had eight to 10 women per event and women make the world go round, so we need more women, too."
The F.U.B.A.R Golf Classic will be held at the Guildford Golf Country Club on 152 St. in Surrey on Sunday, Sept. 7 beginning at noon.
For more information, to register, donate or sponsor the event, visit Friendsunitedbyallrace.com.