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Twenty years ago John McConnell was stepping down from his Regional Manager role with London Life after a long and very successful career as a builder and leader for the company. Wanting to honor John, a number of colleagues decided to have a golf day. London Life offered to provide the McConnell Classic trophy. The talk began about making the tournament an annual event. John would only agree to having an annual tournament if the event raised money for a charity. John talked with his colleagues about a camp facility near his cottage in Muskoka that brought children with cancer together every summer.

The McConnell Classic began in 1994 and the founders decided Camp Oochigeas was to be the very worthy recipient. With only about 30 golfers, a very rainy day, and one sponsor coming out to run a putting contest, the first tournament raised next to nothing.  John and his long time London Life colleague & friend Lorne McBride decided to make a donation of $500 each and the 1st contribution from the McConnell Classic was made to Camp Ooch!

The amount raised has steadily increased over the years and in 2018 the tournament hopes to pass the Million dollar mark.

In the early years there were many challenges. Trying to increase the number of golfers, getting sponsors, coming up with a fun experience that would make people want to come back and tell their friends about their experience and Camp Oochigeas. The constant each year that has kept the event going, is the focus of having a fun day for all the participants and to continue to send children to Camp Ooch to experience camp.

The Tournament has been fortunate to have dedicated & talented committee members, generous contributors & players & volunteers over 25 years. John’s long time friends and London Life colleagues, Lorne McBride and Archie Chase have been a driving force since Day 1!

None of the founders thought in 1994 that the McConnell Classic, Camp Oochigeas’ fourth oldest funding event, would last so long or touch hundreds and hundreds of kids and their respective families lives. But the event has and there is no end in sight.

The McConnell Classic welcomes new players, contributors & volunteers each year to a fun day of golf. Please refer to the registration package for more details on how you can participate.

At The McConnell Classic, “we all golf fore Ooch!  June 7th, 2018 promises to be a great day of friendship, fun & golf at Blue Springs – please join us!

About Camp Oochigeas

Camp Oochigeas (Ooch) provides children with and affected by childhood cancer with what they need most – the chance to be kids. Ooch is the only overnight camp in Ontario to offer on-site IV chemotherapy and blood transfusions providing access to campers in active treatment the friendship and fun of Camp. Operating year-round, Ooch offers programs at overnight camp in Muskoka, at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), various other paediatric hospitals, regional cancer centres and at Ooch Downtown in the heart of Toronto. As a registered charity, Ooch relies exclusively on the generous support of fundraisers, individual and corporate donors like you.

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