AMHERST - The McDonalds Junior Golf Tour has been a big part of Janet MacLaren's summer for the last nine years but as she packed up her belongings yesterday at the Amherst Golf Club, she bids farewell to her long run as the organizer of the event.
"I volunteered for the tour because my son was involved," said MacLaren. "And it's important for parents to support the programs their kids are in."
It was her son's last year participating in the tour and he went out on a high note as the overall champion of the five-course event.
"Golf is a wonderful hobby for kids," said MacLaren. "It's great exercise and it teaches kids about honesty."
She say's most kids are honest but she winces painfully at the memory of kids over the years that have chosen to be dishonest.
"There have been a few kids who think winning a golf game is more important than being honest with their score," said MacLaren. "That's really hard to deal with because if you cheat in the game of golf, what's that say about how you are going to behave in life."
MacLaren is thrilled with the quality of golfer the tour has produced.
"This year in provincial golf we had Zach Carson, Brynn Tomie, Bruce Tomie, Peter MacLaren and a few others who did exceptionally well," she said. "They are among the top 10 golfers in their divisions and the fact that they all came up through the McDonalds Tour speaks volumes for the program."
Before leaving the clubhouse she thanked Danny Moore and Rick Rhodes for starting the program 20 years ago, she thanked McDonalds for all their support over the years and she thanked the golf courses for closing their course so the kids could play in the tournament.
Next year Adrien Amirault will take over where MacLaren left off.
"He's a teacher so he knows what kids are like," she said. "He has kids on the tour and he comes across as calm, which you need when you organize an event like this.
"I'm sure he'll enjoy volunteering on the tour as much as I did."