OAKVILLE — Wednesday morning saw a host of donors and celebrities make their way to Glen Abbey Golf Club in support of the 14th annual Joe Carter Classic.
The charity golf tournament was founded in 2010 by the retired Major League Baseball player.
An icon in Toronto as a member of the Blue Jays’ back-to-back World Series teams, he’s grown that legacy even further with this event, raising over $4-million for charities like the one they were partnered with yesterday, the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.
If you ask the main man why this tournament has been such a staple in his life over the past decade and a half, he won’t say it’s because of the golf or mingling with stars.
“It’s about helping the kids,” said Carter in an interview with the Toronto Observer. “If we can give back … and see the smiles on their faces, that’s the biggest thing I can take away from this golf tournament.”
The Children’s Aid Foundation is a national charity that has dedicated itself to improving the lives of young people within the welfare system. Raising funds to provide opportunities, services, and programs to help children reach their potential.
“You draw inspiration from these young ladies and men,” Carter said. “You look at the adversity that they’ve been through … people look at athletes as heroes, no I look at those people as heroes.
“To keep moving forward no matter what life gives them, they say when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, and they’ve done that.
“We’ve just added the sugar to the lemonade to help sweeten the pot.”
A big part of the festivities over the years has been the long list of celebrities that have come out to show support for Carter and his admirable cause. The roster this year was no different as it was as big and diverse as it’s ever been.
From National Football League stars of the past like Christian Okoye, Sterling Sharpe, and Dan Marino, to hockey icons such as gold medalists for Canada, Jayna Hefford, and Natalie Spooner, all the way to a music legend Tom Cochrane.
If you want to get even more local than that, fans of Toronto sports will surely smile hearing names like Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, Rick Vaive, Cito Gaston, Damon Allen, and José Bautista all taking part throughout the two-day event.
That’s just to name a few. Another person that has attended this event for a couple of years now is former Toronto Maple Leaf and current Calgary Flame, Nazem Kadri. The Stanley Cup winner in 2022 with the Colorado Avalanche appreciates what the tournament has been about and the thought that’s gone into it.
“It’s always great to be back,” Kadri said. “I’m a big fan of this place and I think Joe [Carter] puts on a great show every year, so I wanted to come out and support.
“I’ve been [at the Joe Carter Classic] a few times before. Mainly to support friends of mine, and it’s always been a lot of fun catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while.”
In case you were wondering, it was Bautista and his pairing of donors that ended up winning the whole thing and lifting the Joe Carter Classic trophy.
If you’d like to learn more about the Children’s Aid Foundation and ways to support you can visit their website.
Touch ’em all Joe!
This year’s edition of the golf tournament was extra special as it was also a celebration of 30 years since Blue Jays fans heard those now-famous words by Tom Cheek following Carter’s game-winning home run to capture the 1993 World Series.
One of the presenting sponsors of the event, DraftKings thought it would be fun to pull the historic odds of that moment. Carter hitting a home run in that game six against the Philadelphia Phillies was +400 odds and the likelihood of him doing it in the ninth inning was a near improbable +1500 chance.
To put things into perspective, Carter’s long ball was even more unlikely than Jose Bautista’s legendary bat-flip homer that happened in the seventh inning (+1400) of that 2015 ALDS game against the Texas Rangers.
If you ask the man what he thinks of those numbers, he responds exactly how you think Joe Carter would.
“I’ve always just thought about going out there and performing,” Carter said with a laugh. “I know the odds were not very good, but then again, they didn’t know me.”