WHAT began as a father’s dream to change the life of his autistic daughter has transformed into Australia’s biggest and best charity golf event, complete with A-list celebrities and sporting idols, a party hole with DJs and a $500,000 hole-in-one.
Oh, and there’s also a chance to win an $86,000 Jaguar or two tickets to Madison Square Garden to meet Billy Joel.
In it’s sixth year, the annual Ricky Stuart Foundation celebrity Pro-Am at Royal Canberra Golf Club on February 20 has been described by PGA tour pro Brendan Jones as the ticket money can’t buy.
“As a professional golfer, I’ve played in a quite a few of these charity golf days around the country and it is by far the best that I have ever played in,’’ Jones, who won the 2016 Japan Open, said.
“It’s a bit different with a party hole and champagne holes, but the organisation of it is first-class and the celebrities that come all get on board with what Ricky is trying to do with the foundation and that means a lot to Rick.’’
Stuart and his Foundation board created the event in a bid to create awareness and support for autism, of which his daughter Emma, 18, suffers.
But Stuart’s ultimate dream was to build a respite centre for teenagers with disabilities.
Thanks to money raised from the charity golf day, that dream came true last year with the 2017 Pro-Am marking one year since the state-of-the-art “Ricky Stuart House” for teenagers with disabilities opened in Canberra.
Plans for a second respite centre are already advanced.
Sponsors, guests and celebrities including TV personality Kerri-Ann Kennerley, former jockey Jimmy Cassidy, boxing’s Daniel Geale, Nine reporter Erin Molan, comedian Vince Sorrenti, former All Black Andrew Mehrtens, former tennis pro Wally Masur, 2GB and Nine funnyman Darryl Brohmanand former Wallaby George Gregan will be treated to VIP service from the moment they arrive in Canberra.
Chauffeured to Canberra’s 5-star Realm Hotel in prestige Audi’s ahead of the Pro-Am, a gala dinner is then held later that evening where all moneys raised from the prestige auction is presented to the Foundation.
Qantas flights to the US, accommodation and two tickets to Billy Joel’s concert at Madison Square Garden, as well as a meet and greet with the singer, provided generously by Sony Music boss Denis Handlin, will undoubtedly be an auction highlight.
Ricky Stuart is exclusively managed by The Fordham Company.