Community Conversations with Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region

Amanda Chang

Habitat for Humanity is gearing up for it’s yearly golf tournament. CCE Contributor Amanda Chang spoke with Rebekah Wiesel, development associate at Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region, to find out how proceeds help families in need, and why you might need a shotgun start during a round of golf

Amanda Chang: Tell us a little bit about what people can expect at the tournament.

Rebekah Wiesel: So [the golf tournament] is in scramble format with a shotgun start at 10am. People work in foursomes around the courses’ 18 holes and then there is a 19th hole, which is a contest. [The tournament] runs until about 3 or 3:30 p.m. Afterwards, we have a silent auction and a dinner, and we hand out prizes and the event ends around 7 p.m..

AC: Now what do you mean by scramble format and shotgun start?

RW: It’s golf terminology. Basically, scramble format means all the foursomes start at different holes and they work their way around the course. Shotgun start means a bang goes off at 10 a.m. telling everyone they can start playing.

AC: Where do the proceeds for the event go?

RW: They go directly to our build program to build homes with families in need and give them the opportunity to own a home. We build more than one home a year. We built six last year and we are building six homes this year. So we have six families that are working towards owning a home.

AC: So there are requirements that have to be met before a family can own a home?

RW: Yes. [The families] work through 500 hours of sweat equity in lieu of a down payment. Meaning they do 500 hours of volunteer time, either on the build site or in the restore, building their own home. They then pay an interest-free mortgage geared to their income. We are really giving them a hand up, not a hand out. We give the families a boost to help them achieve home ownership.

AC: Do you have a goal in the amount of money you hope to be raised?

RW: Last year we raised $98,000. This year we hope to top that and raise $100,000.

AC: This is the sixteenth annual golf tournament. Is there anything you are doing this year that is different than previous years?

RW: No, this is pretty standard. This is our annual fundraiser and it works really well so we didn’t really mix it up. This year does mark our twenty-fifth anniversary so we have many other events planned. It’s exciting, but it is also a lot of work.

AC: Now let’s say I am not an avid golfer. Do you have to be one to enter the tournament?

RW: No, definitely not. Actually last year one of our board members had never golfed before, but she thoroughly enjoyed it and she is now taking lessons. It’s really about coming out and having fun while supporting a great charity.

AC: Is there a prize for the winner of the tournament?

RW: There are prizes for different contests, for example the beat the pro contest and the 19th-hole contest, which is a challenging hole. There isn’t really an overall prize, although each guest does receive a player prize for coming to join us.

AC: Is there any other way people can help if they do not want to be in the tournament?

RW: This event has a volunteers sponsor so we have a pretty solid group of volunteers already. Although every year we do have a golf committee so there is an opportunity for people to help by joining this committee. People can also donate to our silent auction by going to the website or contacting me. It’s a really great event. It is a lot of fun and it is a really great day to be out on the course, enjoying the sunshine and raising money for Habitat for Humanity.

For more information or to register visit