Rhéal Cormier’s legacy continues with donation to First Tee – Atlantic

First Tee – Atlantic received $25,000 from the Rhéal Cormier Foundation as a charitable beneficiary of the fourth annual Rhéal Cormier Charity Golf Classic at Fox Creek Golf Club in Dieppe, New Brunswick.

The tournament honours Rhéal Cormier, a left-handed pitcher who played Major League Baseball for 16 seasons with five organizations. Aside from being a Canadian Baseball Hall-of-Famer and representing team Canada in the summer Olympic games, Cormier was known for his zest for life and never forgetting where he came from – New Brunswick, Canada.

Rhéal was diagnosed with cancer in 2020 and sadly passed away in 2021 at the age of 53.

Rhéal’s good friend Bob Cormier started the Rhéal Cormier Charity Golf Classic alongside Rhéal’s wife Lucienne to ensure his name and legacy would never be forgotten. Each year, the Rhéal Cormier Foundation selects local charitable beneficiaries that align with Rhéal’s passion for sport, community, and helping others.

“We were very happy to learn about First Tee – Atlantic’s launch because there is a strong need for programs like this in communities like Moncton and Cap-Pelé,” said Bob Cormier. “Rhéal was more than just a remarkable athlete. He was a loyal friend, a dedicated family man, and a true pillar of our community. Rhéal would love this program and supporting kids in a sport he enjoyed playing. He’d be proud to put his name on this!”

The donation will stay within a Moncton-Memramcook-Shediac-Cap-Pelé corridor – a region meaningful to Rhéal’s life. First Tee – Atlantic has engaged two new program locations through this gift, Ecole Donat-Robichaud (Elementary School) in Rhéal’s hometown of Cap-Pelé and Pine Needles Golf and Country Club. Due to the generosity of Rhéal’s Foundation, these programs will be offered to participants at no cost. First Tee – Atlantic will be adding new programs in the months to come.

“The First Tee – Atlantic team could not be more grateful to benefit from Rhéal’s enduring legacy of generosity. The program is in strong demand in the region, so this donation will have a profound impact on our ability to expand,” said Steve Healy, First Tee – Atlantic Development Officer. “When we received the good news from Bob Cormier, it was a special moment to discover that the local elementary school from Rhéal’s hometown of Cap-Pelé was already on our waiting list. It is an honour for our team to make an impact in the communities of someone as well-respected and admired as Rhéal Cormier.”

First Tee is Golf Canada’s youth development program that aims to provide accessible pathways to golf along with life-enhancing experiences through sport, especially to children who would not otherwise have the opportunity. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, children learn introductory golf skills such as gripping a club and distance control while simultaneously continuing the development of life skills such as honesty, perseverance and self-confidence.

First Tee – Atlantic launched in 2022 and is one of six chapters operating across the country. There are now over 80 First Tee – Atlantic program locations at golf courses, schools, and community centres throughout all four Atlantic provinces.  

“Our program is still in its infancy, and we have lofty goals for the number of kids we hope to engage on an annual basis,” said Healy. “There’s no limit on what we can achieve when we align with supporters such as the Rhéal Cormier Charity Golf Classic. Together we can foster a more inclusive and accessible future for the great game of golf.”

To help First Tee – Atlantic grow and impact communities near you, consider becoming a monthly donor or hosting a community fundraiser. Learn more about ways to give or how to get involved here.

For more information, please contact [email protected] or visit firstteeatlantic.ca.