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Born of a family tragedy, in remembrance of a man’s life

Liam Delaney, 10, participates in the Sean Delaney Memorial Golf Classic in honour of his father, who died after eating a dish that contained peanuts.

The Donors: Ian and Kiki Delaney

The Gift: Raising $2.1-million and climbing

The Cause: Anaphylaxis Canada

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The Reason: To fund research into nut allergies

Nearly six years ago, Ian Delaney was on a hunting trip in Mexico with his sons when tragedy struck. One son, Sean, had a severe nut allergy. Although the family had taken precautions, including carrying two EpiPens, and carefully reviewing all meals, he ate something that contained peanuts.

"They served him a dish that he'd had before and [the family] questioned it and they said it didn't have nuts, and it did," Ian Delaney's wife, Kiki, recalled from her office in Toronto, where she is president of Delaney Capital Management. (Mr. Delaney is chairman of Sherritt International Corp.)

"He went into anaphylactic shock and basically he died in his father's arms in an ambulance on the way to the hospital."

Sean was 40 years old and he left a wife and son, Liam, who is now 10. The family hoped to take something positive from the loss and struggled for a way to make that happen.

"We were trying to figure out how to honour him and how to celebrate his life," said Ms. Delaney. Then a friend suggested they organize a golf tournament to raise money for Anaphylaxis Canada, a charity that provides programs and services for people with food allergies.

The idea led to the Sean Delaney Memorial Golf Classic, which has been held every spring north of Toronto since 2007. So far, the event, which attracts a dozen teams that each raise $25,000, has raised $2.1-million, which goes toward research and awareness programs.

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"There are so many people who are impacted by food allergies and by nut allergies and I really want to get the message out to more people," Ms. Delaney said.

The golf tournament "doesn't take away the pain but it is terrific for [Anaphylaxis Canada] and it's a significant part of their revenue base. It's meaningful to them and it's meaningful to us."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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