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Toronto businessman David MacNicol says that organizing the golf tournment which has raised more than $3-million over 17 years, ‘is the best thing that I do in my life.’

BRETT GUNDLOCK/The Globe and Mail

The Gift: Creating The Yellow Bus Foundation

The Reason: To fund health and educational programs for children

A few years ago, Toronto businessman David MacNicol was asked to help out at an unusual charity golf tournament where participants played 100 holes in a single day.

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The event raised about five times as much money as a typical golf tournament and Mr. MacNicol immediately wondered whether he could organize a similar golf marathon for a children's charity he worked with.

The event proved a hit and, after a couple of years of raising money for other charities, Mr. MacNicol struck out on his own, creating The Yellow Bus Foundation, which provides funding for six children's charities in Toronto, ranging from a daycare service for mentally disabled kids to breakfast programs for disadvantaged youth.

"We wanted to really have an effect on a children's charity where our cheque will really have an impact," said Mr. MacNicol, who founded MacNicol & Associates Asset Management Inc.

The 100 Hole Golf Marathon is the foundation's main fundraising vehicle and, most years, it has raised more than $300,000. Mr. MacNicol is hoping this year's tournament, on Sept. 20, will hit the $400,000 mark. This will be the 17th year for the marathon, which takes about 13 hours, and so far it has raised about $3-million in total.

Organizing the golf marathon and working with the various charities "is wonderful," Mr. MacNicol said. "It is the best thing that I do in my life. It just puts a real lump in my throat."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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