Giving Back


By Tom Mackin

In 2000, Robbie Leming was living in Seattle, Washington, and deep into wedding preparations with his fiancée Karen-Nicole. Shortly before their big day though, his mother called with bad news: She had received a diagnosis of breast cancer. That call changed Leming’s life, and ever since he has made it his mission to help breast cancer patients and survivors. 

That’s why Leming has helped raise more than $100,000 by playing 100 holes in a day multiple times at the Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis on Paradise Island in The Bahamas, where he has served as general manager since 2011. That money has gone to the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group, a local NGO that was started in 2000 by Dr. Locksley Munroe, Dr. Charles Diggiss, and Nurse Sandra McPhee to assist newly diagnosed patients with port-a-caths and other medical expenses relative to their treatment.  

“Sister Sister really focuses on health and wellness and getting people through it,” said Leming, who has worked for Troon since 2005. “They do a great job. I’ve been really fortunate to have a platform to be able to raise money for an organization that makes such a big difference in people’s lives.”

An estimated 275,000 people live on Nassau, and cancer has an outsized impact on the small island community and beyond. “Sister Sister provides support for residents here and on the family islands in the Bahamas where they have less health care opportunities,” said Leming. “Cancer is very rampant. There is late diagnosis, lack of care, and for some limited funds. It’s very, very impactful when you can put together more than $100,000 and move the needle in the right direction and contribute to these organizations’ successes.”

Leming knows just how critical receiving good care is thanks to the experience of his mother, Judie Maynard. “My mom survived her original diagnosis, but four years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer again and survived,” he said. “Luckily, she had great health care coverage to help her. In the Bahamas, some people are not as fortunate from a health care standpoint, and there is not an abundance of funds for care and treatment.”

Having just turned 50 years old, Leming enjoys his annual golf fundraiser, but it does take a toll. “It’s a challenge,” he admits. “People don’t think of golf as an athletic sport, but when you play 100 holes in one day, it’s definitely an athletic sport.” 

The fundraising efforts at his facility, and those at Troon facilities around the world during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (like supporting PLAY for P.I.N.K.®, a national charity funding breast cancer research), go far beyond playing golf. 

“In October we put pink flags and pink flagsticks on all 18 holes,” said Leming. “We also put a message on the GPS screen in our golf carts about joining us in the fight against breast cancer and serve pink pancakes to help raise awareness. Our team here also puts together pink ribbons for sale, which typically raises from $1,500 to $3,000. It truly is a group effort.”  

But it’s one spearheaded by Leming, and his efforts have not gone unnoticed. Invited to attend Sister Sister’s annual prayer breakfast in Nassau last month, he was shocked to receive the group’s inaugural Warrior Award. 

“They had called several leaders to the stage,” he recalled. “Then, Shantell Cox-Hutchinson, who handles fundraising for the group, invited me to the stage. I was standing there while she was speaking, and then she presented me with the Warrior Award. I was shocked. It was super emotional.”

He gave a brief speech in front of 400 attendees at the William Thompson Auditorium and expressed his gratitude, especially to his wife Karen-Nicole.

“She’s very supportive,” he said. “Without her I would not be the person I am today.”

He also shared the good news with his mother, who is currently in good health. “She started crying when she saw a video of me accepting the Warrior Award,” he said. 

“Robbie is the consummate club hospitality professional,” said Matt Hurley, Troon executive vice president. “He not only does an excellent job in his executive role overseeing club operations, but believes in community and community involvement. We congratulate Robbie for his fundraising efforts and for being recognized as Warrior of the Year for the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group.”

Leming and his fellow 100-holer Chris Kilvington were joined last year by Ocean Club member and native Bahamian Patrick Stevenson. 

“After our event, we presented some breast cancer survivors with a check for $46,000,” recalled Leming. “Patrick looked at me and said, ‘I’ve never been involved with something so touching in my life. I thought 100 holes would just be 100 holes of golf. But this has been a life-changer for me.’”

Leming knew exactly what he meant.