When Detective Tom Gage passed away seven years ago, his Homicide colleagues pledged they would keep his memory alive.
The father of two, who was a member of the cold case section, took his life after suffering from bipolar disorder.
They have stuck to their promise by organizing an annual golf tournament to raise funds for charities across the city.
The sixth annual event, that attracted 94 golfers at Royal Woodbine Golf Course, raised a record $13,500.
Entrepreneur Linda Collier-Shaw, a friend of Detective Joyce Schertzer, who is one of the event’s organizers, matched the funds raised from the tournament.
“We were able to reach that record because of Linda,” said Schertzer. “She’s a very charitable person.”
Last year’s donations went to the Alzheimer Society of Toronto (AST).
“We chose them because so many lives of family members of officers in our unit have been impacted by this disease,” said Homicide S/Insp. Greg McLane.
Scott Russell, the AST’s chief marketing officer, accepted the cheque from Homicide members at a presentation ceremony on Feb. 26 at police headquarters.
“This money will be used to provide counselling and educational support,” he said. “We have an active client base of about 8,000 people in the city and this kind of generosity helps to provide services to really give people some hope. We also contribute annually to the Alzheimer research program. These charitable funds provide help for today and hope for tomorrow because we don’t get a ton of government funding. Almost 70 per cent of our funding comes from personal donations and events like the one the Homicide Squad puts on each year.”
AST communications manager Tina Barduhn also attended the ceremony,
An estimated 500,000 Canadians suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.
This year’s fundraiser will take place at the same venue on September 24.
Funds accrued will go to the Runnymede Healthcare Centre, a long-term care facility specializing in care for adults with neurological disorders, other chronic illnesses and palliative needs.
Other charities to benefit from Homicide’s generosity over the years are the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Lupus Foundation of Ontario, the Aplastic Anemia & Myelodsplasia Association of Canada, Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.