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Home News Retreat founders ready to tee off for inaugural River Valley Resilience Retreat Golf

Retreat founders ready to tee off for inaugural River Valley Resilience Retreat Golf

Retreat founders ready to tee off for inaugural River Valley Resilience Retreat Golf
River Valley Resilience Retreat co-founder Jeff Reeder. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The River Valley Resilience Retreat founders hope to create a peaceful atmosphere for veterans and first responders to rest and recuperate, but to do that they’ll need to raise $650,000 to cover start up and capital costs.

With that in mind, the group organized the first ever River Valley Resilience Retreat Golf Scramble at the Silver Hills Golf Course west of Prince Albert. Golfers can play either nine or 18 holes of golf, and enter hole-in-one contests on the third and seventh holes.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Retreat co-founder Jeff Reeder said during an interview on Friday. “It’s been a last-minute decision to try and raise some funds for making some capital purchases to help lighten the cost of some of the programs we offer.

“We’re happy with what we’ve done so far in a short amount of time, and we hope that it will be a great turnout.”

Reeder said he’s organized charity golf tournaments in the past, and wanted to try the same here. They’ve tried to be as flexible as possible by creating morning and afternoon shotgun start times, and giving golfers the choice of a nine or 18 holes.

“(Organizing tournaments) is always a lot of work, but it’s a great time when you can get everyone together, have a great day, and socialize,” Reeder said.

Funds from this year’s tournament will go towards constructing a main dwelling to run programming from, and a smaller individual cabin for accommodation. Reeder said the buildings will allow them to operate all year round.

“We’ll have access to programming for 365 days a year, so people are not travelling on highways,” Reeder explained. “They can stay, have a nice, warm place, and nice, warm meals. That’s what we’re here to achieve.”

The retreat founders have already organized a weekly in-person support group with trained leaders and volunteers to help veterans and first responders suffering from Operational Stress Injury (OSI). However, the group wanted to create an additional space where attendees could feel protected, understood, and equipped to deal with any traumatic effects from the jobs.

Reeder said they’ve been able to meet virtually since the COVID-19 outbreak started, but it’s been difficult to replace that in-person connection.

“It’s definitely not the same atmosphere as meeting people in person,” he explained. “We have a number of different programs we do offer … and yeah, it poses some challenges when you have to work in a group dynamic. Peer support and all that kind of stuff is all (about) working within small groups. It poses a challenge.”

The new resilience retreat will be in the RM of Duck Lake thanks to a donation from a retired business owner and pilot. It includes direct access to the river valley, and more than 100 acres of river access, trails, and natural springs.

Reeder said it’s an exciting development, but one they’ll need to properly fund to make it a success. The upcoming golf tournament is an important part of making sure that happens.

“Hopefully we can get as many people out as we can,” he said. “If they can clear their schedules, great. If not, if they can support us through donations, or through the silent auctions…. If they can’t make it out to golf, they can support us in other ways.”

The first annual River Valley Resilience Retreat Golf Scramble gets underway on Sept. 9. For more information, or to register a team, call 306-981-6083, or 306-980-5387.