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Coquitlam Express third annual golf tournament raises big bucks for charity

The event at Westwood Plateau golf course in Coquitlam benefitted FOCUS Canada
Coquitlam Express owner Fayaz Manji, along with players Luke Vardy and Adam Manji, present the proceeds of the team's third annual charity golf tournament to Shakil Adam, Regional Convenor for BC, FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance Canada, and Shala Chandani, President, Aga Khan Council for BC.

The Coquitlam Express has scored a hole-in-one with its third annual charity golf tournament.

The BC Hockey League team announced Friday, Dec. 1, the event raised $32,740 for FOCUS Canada, a charitable organization that works to empower underprivileged communities across Canada.

The tournament took place on Sept. 14, bringing together players, alumni and officials from the hockey team, its supporters, as well as representatives from the community and local businesses, for an afternoon of competition and fun on the greens and fairways of Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club.

"We are thrilled and humbled by the overwhelming generosity and support displayed by everyone involved," said Tali Campbell, Express general manager and chief operating officer, in a news release.

The team's first charity golf tournament in 2021 raised almost $12,000 for Canuck Place Children's Hospice, while last year's event pulled in more than $21,000 for the Canucks Autism Network.

The golf tournaments are the cornerstone of community engagement initiatives by the Express that have raised several hundred thousand dollars for local groups and causes, including special games to raise awareness about Type I Diabetes, cancer and autism.

"The community outreach part is critical to success," Campbell said, adding the efforts also instill positive values and leadership skills in the team's players.

"The things we do as an organization really impact them."

The Express are on the road to Vancouver Island this weekend. The team visits the Alberni Valley Bulldogs today, Dec. 2, followed by a game Sunday afternoon, Dec. 3, against the Nanaimo Clippers.

Both opponents are ahead of the Express in the Coastal Conference standings.

Coquitlam currently sits in fifth place with 21 points in 19 games, while the Clippers are in fourth with 24 points in 21 games. The Bulldogs sit in second place with 28 points in 22 games but have lost four of its past five games.

The team returns home to the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex next Friday, Dec. 8, against the Langley Rivermen.