Local 793 recently donated $106,048 to the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation cancer program.

A presentation was made at Local 793’s 95th anniversary dinner dance held at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto on Dec. 6, 2014.

The funds were raised at the third annual Gary O’Neill Memorial Golf Tournament held this past summer at RattleSnake Point Golf Club in Milton, Ont. The tournament is named after the union’s late president.

The tournaments have now raised more than $312,000. Proceeds are used to fund research into esophageal cancer.

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher and president Joe Redshaw presented a cheque to Dr. Gail Darling, director of thoracic surgery clinical research at Toronto General Hospital, at the dinner dance.

“The money raised from the Gary O’Neill Memorial Golf Tournament is being put to good use in caring for patients and conducting scientific research into treatments for esophageal cancer,” said Gallagher. I would like to thank all the contractors who participated in the golf tournament and helped raise funds for this truly worthy cause.

“Funds raised from the golf tournament have helped doctors make significant strides in research and clinical programs to detect and prevent esophageal cancer. We are proud to be part of that effort.”

Dr. Darling said past donations by Local 793 have enabled the foundation to buy a generator to treat patients who have Barrett’s esophagus, an abnormal change in the cells of the lower portion of the esophagus, which is a pre-cursor to esophageal cancer.

The doctor said the next step is to bring on board a device that can be used to screen patients who are at risk of esophageal cancer without having to have them undergo an endoscopic procedure.

Meanwhile, the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation presented business manager Gallagher with a bronze medal for the union’s fund-raising efforts.

The local had earlier been the recipient of a copper medal.

The union received the bronze because of the more than $100,000 that was raised at the 2014 golf tournament.

Gallagher said he accepted the bronze medal on behalf of the union.

“We’re going to keep on raising money until we get a cure,” he said.