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Graham Clarke speaks about why he raises funds for Tonic

Many thanks to the Graham, the Club Captain along with all the members of Meon Valley Golf and Country Club for their generous donations.

Tonic Music for Mental Health is a local charity from Portsmouth and came to my notice following the tragic death of our son Tom in June 2020. Tom was a fantastic musician, playing piano and guitar. He composed music through his computer software and wrote the lyrics. We have a selection of his music pieces and it's a pleasure to still be able to listen to him sing. Through a supportive family and many generous friends, we subsequently raised more than £6,000 for this very worthy charity.

When I became Club Captain at Meon Valley Golf and Country Club in November 2021, I had no hesitation in nominating Tonic to become my chosen charity. I contacted Steph Langan the founder of the charity and we started raising funds at our first social event which was a Curry and Quiz Night in November 2021 successfully organised by Geoff Richardson Hon Sec.

During an extremely busy golfing year we were able to promote Tonic on many occasions and I am grateful for the support and help received from our members. Dawn Pilbeam the Ladies Captain was always by my side in organising the raffles as well as running fundraising events in her own ladies' section. These include Captain's v Vice Captains in December and various AM/AMs during my year. At the Captain's Dinner which was also well supported we had an excellent meal and in addition to the raffle we raised a great deal of money through generously donated auction prizes. This was again organised by Geoff Richardson who greatly assisted me during my year as Captain.

We fortunately have a strong Seniors Section at Meon Valley but as you would expect we sadly do lose a few players each year. In consequence, a buggy was donated to our charity by a widow of one of our members and through Tony Corner the Seniors Vice Captain he managed to sell the buggy to raise a substantial sum of money. Thank you also to Alison Scott the Seniors Captain and all the Seniors Section for kindly donating this money in support of my chosen charity.

Lauren Whitehouse the Country Club Manager at Meon Valley was extremely supportive throughout my year and particularly on 'Captains Day'. Meon Valley provided an excellent barbecue and with Lauren's influence I was able to offer a great selection of prizes through the pro shop.

What has impressed me, is the way Tonic have expanded their services which now include Suicide Awareness Support Courses. Their awareness and recognition are a vital source of assistance to many. It therefore gave me great pleasure in presenting Steph with a cheque for £4,254 raised by Meon Valley members for the benefit of Tonic Music for Mental Health.

To find our more about how to fundraise for Tonic, visit our 'Gig 'n' Tonic' page.



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