Clackamas County golfers, cops fundraise for Christmas toys
The Officer Mulligan Charity Golf Tournament from the Clackamas County Peace Officers Benevolent Foundation (CCPOBF) is back.
The event tees off 7:30 a.m. Friday. July 23 at the Stone Creek Golf Course in Oregon City, and all proceeds will go towards CCPOBF's annual Shop With A Cop (SWAC) event, where local children whose families have had encounters with law enforcement are paired up with another officer to go shopping for Christmas presents.
Tournament participants will enjoy one round of golf, access to practice facilities, breakfast, lunch, and various ways to win prizes, including a raffle and competitions for the longest putt and longest drive. Participants should bring their own clubs and equipment, as it will not be provided by the course.
Individual golfers can register for $125 and teams of four golfers can register for $500.
For those not interested in golfing, CCPOBF accepts donations through their website. CCPOBF First Vice President Chris Wadsworth, a former Oregon City police officer, said donations are especially important this year as the golf tournament is the only organized fundraising event for SWAC.
Donations can be made "all throughout the year," Wadsworth said, and donors will receive a receipt for their contribution in the mail. All donations are tax deductible.
This is the sixth year CCPOBF will hold the Officer Mulligan tournament, which is not named after a real police officer, instead after the golf term "mulligan" in which a player gets a do-over on a previous swing. SWAC will be held for the 15th year in December 2021, and former Milwaukie City Councilor Wilda Parks says she wants it to be "bigger and better than ever" after it was altered last year due to COVID-19.
"Myself and my sister did all the shopping for the kids because obviously, the kids and the officers couldn't shop," Wadsworth said. "We did still do something, but it was nowhere near, you know, what we normally do for Shop With A Cop."
This year, SWAC will be hosted by the Fred Meyer on 82nd Drive in Clackamas, and funds from the golf tournament and donations will be used to purchase $100 gift cards for each child to buy whatever they please. Kids often tend to prioritize presents for their family members before themselves, according to the event website.
Children are selected by a board of school counselors and resource officers who usually look to identify kids whose families have had a negative or traumatic experience with police, such as a parent or other relative being arrested.
Wadsworth said the event can really impact how these children view and interact with law enforcement.
"It's amazing to watch these kids...from the moment when they walk in, how they look, to how they look when they leave is amazing. I mean, it's so totally different," Wadsworth said.
Parks said SWAC has been able to help over 140 kids a year thanks to the golf tournament as well as generous donations from the public and businesses. CCPOBF is nonprofit, and puts 100% of the money towards the children.
"For every person that signs up [for the tournament] that's 1.25 children that will have Christmas," Parks said. "I think there's a lot to be said for that kind of event where every single cent goes to youth, nothing goes to any kind of administration."
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