By Julieanne Acosta, September 29 2022—
YW Calgary is a century-old women’s organization in Calgary that aims to help women and their families through prevention, intervention, empowerment and leadership.
“We’ve provided a range of services for women and their families struggling with poverty, homelessness, domestic abuse and isolation,” read their website. “As part of our supportive role, we also speak out in ways that educate the community about the oppression, inequity and constrained choices that women experience.”
In a press release to the Gauntlet, YW Calgary announced that they were a recipient of the 2023 Willow Park Charity Golf Classic — effectively providing them with the funds to begin construction for an accessible playground.
The Willow Park Charity Golf Classic gives 100 per cent of the proceeds they raise to charity. Since 1998, the golf classic has donated over $11.6 million to Calgary charities.
In 2021, the long-established YW Sheriff King Home — which helped provide programming to over 21,000 women and children escaping domestic violence — was taken down to allow for a new shelter and affordable housing facilities equipped with a wellness centre, courtyard and playground to help women and their children in their transition.
“Today, we mark the beginning of a year-long partnership that will provide funds dedicated to the construction of ‘Willow Park’ — an accessible playground for children residing in the newly re-developed YW Sheriff King Home and Affordable Housing,” the press release reads. “As well as support for the ongoing maintenance of the park, well into the future. This new playground will be accessible for children of all abilities from 3-12 years.”
In response to being chosen as this year’s recipient, YW CEO Sue Tomney thanked the Willow Park Charity and emphasized the importance of charity groups like them.
“YW’s work in the community is empowered by the generosity of groups like the Willow Park Charity Golf Classic and we are so thankful to be this year’s recipient. Play is such a critical component in the healing process and the Willow Park will ensure every child can play, make friends, learn, grow and heal,” wrote Tomney in the press release.
YW Calgary hopes to open their affordable housing component of the YW Sheriff King Home Redevelopment this winter and the shelter itself in the fall of 2023.