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Leadership Charity golf game keeps investment banker’s memory alive

‘He was always looking to give back,’ Wendy Southall says of her late husband, Bill Volk, whose golf clubs she is holding.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

The Donors: The family of Bill Volk

The Gift: $125,000 and climbing

The Cause: Right to Play Canada

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Bill Volk had just returned to Toronto from a business trip to Britain in January, 2011, when he began to feel ill. He got to a doctor, collapsed and died within a few hours. Doctors later said that Mr. Volk, 52, had suffered from a rare disorder of the adrenal system.

His family was devastated and felt a need to do something together to honour his memory.

Mr. Volk, an investment banker at RBC Dominion Securities, had been an avid golfer and the family organized a golfing day with a group of friends.

"We just thought, to help us through the grief really, we thought we'd like to do something together to celebrate Bill's life and memory," his widow Wendy Southall said.

The family soon decided to do much more. Mr. Volk had been active in a number of charities and Ms. Southall wanted to celebrate that by turning the golf outing into a fundraising event for charity.

"He was always looking to give back … he was always just giving," recalled Ms. Southall, who also set up a family foundation together with the couple's three children.

After conferring with Mr. Volk's siblings, Tom, Peter, Carole, Susan and Theresa, Ms. Southall decided to raise money for Right to Play Canada, a charity that develops sports programs in impoverished countries.

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Last month the family held

the inaugural Bill Volk Celebration Golf Classic at the Coppinwood Golf Club northeast of Toronto.

The event raised $125,000 and Ms. Southall is already at work on next year's tournament.

"It was a great way to honour him," Tom Volk said. "We want to keep it going."

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