Muswell Hill charity competition is still a big hit

A MUSWELL Hill golf club tournament which was created in honour of Samantha Trow, a north London schoolteacher who died of bowel cancer, has raised almost �50,000 for cancer charities.

Samantha Trow (nee St John) was only 26 when she died in February 2008, just four months after her wedding.

Her devastated widower, Ben Trow, quickly came up with the idea of instigating an annual golf competition in her memory – ‘Swing for Sammy’ – with proceeds going to charity.

The initiative was an immediate success, raising �17,500 and attracting 172 players in the first year. The momentum has continued for the past two years and the total funds received have almost tripled, following the third competition.

Cancer Research UK, the Seve Ballesteros Foundation (which is specifically involved in brain cancer research) and St Mark’s Hospital have been the principal beneficiaries so far, and organisers are hopeful that the initiative’s success will continue.

“Running Swing for Sammy for these past three years has been a humbling though time-consuming experience for all involved,” said Paul Trow, the co-organiser and Muswell Hill vice-chairman.

“Straight away, we were amazed by the scale of support the event attracted, from companies donating prizes and auction items to individuals making donations or committing to take part on the day.

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“It brought home to us how the modern plague of cancer has affected the lives of almost everyone.

“This successful fundraising has strengthened our resolve to continue with the event for as long as possible to contribute to the ongoing war against cancer.”

Trow was eager to pay tribute to Hendon Golf Club and Muswell Hill club members, and in particular manager Adrian Hobbs who has played a key role in the project’s success.

“This venture has raised a lot more money than we initially thought possible, giving us a chance to spread the donations carefully and, we hope, effectively,” Trow continued.

“In Cancer Research UK, we are supporting the organisation at the cutting edge of research that the researchers themselves – who are experts from all over the world – believe is very close to a major breakthrough.

“In St Mark’s Hospital, we are supporting an increasingly sophisticated programme of early detection and diagnosis for bowel cancer, coupled with new, technologically-enhanced surgical procedures.”

This year’s competition was won by Team Urban Elk, which comprised Matt Jones, Steve Ferris, Laurence Knott and Jem Butcher with 96 stableford points.

In second place, one point behind the winners, was the team made up of Hugo Lavell, Peter Pizzey, Neil Hobbs and Laurie Nicoll of nearby Hendon Golf Club.

The Muswell Hill combination of Bill Carey, Mandy Miller, David Kavanagh and Kate Kavanagh were third on 94 points.

The leading pro was Muswell Hill assistant Alastair Bennett with a gross 73 while the ladies’ prize went to Mandy Miller with 40 points.

A date for the Swing for Sammy 2011 will be decided early in the new year. Anyone wishing to make a belated donation to Cancer Research UK can do so via