The sun was shining on the ninth annual France-Anne Sweeny Charity Golf Day, and supporters managed to raise over $4,000 for WAYVE through the day’s events at Kitchener’s Deer Ridge Golf Club.
Part of the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington, WAYVE (Wellness Acceptance Youth Voices Empowerment) is a mental health awareness and bullying prevention group focusing on youth leadership and community building in Waterloo Region.
A passionate member of WAYVE in her high school years at Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, Sweeny lost her life as a result of a tragic horseback riding accident in 2009.
“WAYVE was huge to France-Anne. It was one of her favourite things to go to,” says best friend Hannah Wynen (pictured, far left), a neighbour of Sweeny’s since childhood. “She talked about it all the time, and I remember, even a few days before she passed away, seeing her wearing her WAYVE shirts just out and about. It was just such a big part of her life.”
“She just loved the group, and we love the group as well,” says Paul Sweeny (pictured, middle), France-Anne’s father and co-organizer of the Charity Golf Day.
Since their daughter’s passing, the Sweenys have started a foundation in her name, raising $425,000 to support high school students and their favourite charities. In that time, sixty-four Grade 11 students have each received $100 for their favourite charities, and thirty Grade 12 students have each received $1,000 for their post-secondary education.
“What she did, giving back to the community, and the awards that we give out in her name every year are for kids that are just like her—that spend time in the community, work in the community, give of their time,” says Sweeny.