Golf outing will benefit Toys for Tots

Published 9:22 pm Saturday, July 31, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- When police, fire and ambulance services are all found at the same place it is usually not a good thing, but an upcoming benefit event is bringing the three arms of public safety together for a positive reason.
The Niles-based Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service is sponsoring its first annual "Public Safety For Our Kids" golf outing on Aug. 9 at the Orchard Hills Country Club in Buchanan. The event will benefit the Toys for Tots foundation.
SMCAS Executive Director Marlene Beach said the county wide event offers a rare opportunity to bring public safety personnel together for a reason other than an emergency.
Josh Kay, a paramedic for SMCAS, came to Beach with the idea in March.
He also noticed that while the three departments often work together it is always in high pressure situations.
Though the golf outing will be attended by police officers, firefighters and paramedics, it is not just for public safety personnel, it is open to the entire community.
The cost is $75 per golfer or $300 per foursome. This cost includes 18 holes of golf, a cook-out style lunch and a buffet style dinner after the event.
Each participating golfer is asked to bring at least one new, unwrapped toy to the event.
There will be door prizes, competitions for men's and women's longest drive and closest to the pin and a hole-in-one contest with a chance to win $10,000.
The event has already raised more than $1,600 and Walmart has donated a bundle of toys.
For those who wish to donate new toys, there will be drop boxes available at the SMCAS office, located at 2100 Chicago Road in Niles, and at the Buchanan Police Department.
Because there are so many fundraisers like this around Christmas, Beach said they thought the middle of summer would be a good time for an event to benefit kids.
She hopes this first year event will be something that is around for years to come.
For more information, call the SMCAS office at (269)684-2170.