Minnesota Chapter Hosts the 23rd Annual Burn Aid Golf Classic

On September 9, 107 golfers arrived at the Dellwood Country Club in White Bear Lake to participate in the 23rd annual Burn Aid Golf Classic. This annual event is organized by the Burn Aid Foundation for the purpose of providing charitable contributions to the Regions Hospital Burn Center and their associated summer camps for young boys and girls who have suffered a life-altering burn injury. Burn Aid is a cooperative effort by the members of the Minnesota Chapter of the NFSA, Regions Hospital, and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division. Over the past 22 years, the Burn Aid Golf Classic has raised over $1.2 million for Burn Center equipment, programs, and outreach efforts.

State Fire Marshal staff members and Firefighters from the White Bear Lake Fire Department presented a live-burn demonstration of an LP tank fire just prior to the start of the Golf Classic. The golfing crowd saw firsthand the enormous power of a venting LP tank and the tactics used by firefighters to control such an incident. The huge fireball was an awe-inspiring sight, and the fire’s radiant heat was welcomed on what turned out to be a cool, rainy day.

Rainy weather did much to dampen the course, but not the generosity of the Golf Classic sponsors or the good-natured competition amongst the golfers. NFSA President Shane Ray, Minnesota Chapter President and Burn Aid Foundation President Sean Flaherty, and members of the Regions Hospital Burn Center staff were among the dignitaries who golfed and participated in a silent auction and evening program.

A silent auction and formal dinner followed the afternoon golfing, and the setting provided an excellent opportunity for networking and a chance to formally thank our members for their outstanding generosity to this event over the years.

NFSA President Shane Ray addressed the group, highlighting the generosity of our members and our work to save people from the ravages of fire with our daily work and our sponsorships and support of charitable events like Burn Aid. He also praised Minnesota State Fire Marshal Bruce West for the Marshal’s unflagging support of the Minnesota Chapter and fire sprinklers.

The highlight of the evening was the keynote address, delivered by 17-year old Safa Ali. Safa is a student at Wayzata High School. As a small child, she and her mother (who was 8-months pregnant at the time) were severely burned in a house fire. Safa’s foot was badly burned, and she has carried the physical and emotional scars of that injury all her life. She told the audience of the many struggles she endured and her discovery of the burn camps associated with Regional Hospital’s Burn Center. Finding other burn victims and a great support network at the camps, Safa regained her self-esteem and cemented life-long friendships with other burn survivor and their families. Burn survivors like Safa are what Burn Aid is all about. She is an incredible young woman, and she told her story with notable courage and grace. She is an inspiration!

After the presentation of several golf awards, the finale of the evening was the presentation of a check to the Regions Hospital Burn Center for $35,000! The 23rd annual Burn Aid Golf Classic was a great success in terms of golf participation and donations raised. We look forward to next year, and to 2021, when the Classic will celebrate it’s 25th year of charitable work!

THANK YOU to the members of the Minnesota Chapter of NFSA, all the volunteers, and the staff members from Regions Hospital, the State Fire Marshal Division, and the White Bear Lake Fire Department for making this year’s Burn Aid Golf Classic a successful and fun event!!