In July of each year, area police officers and firefighters put on a golf tournament at Indian Spring Country Club. I used to write about it to alert District Liners that they could have a day of dun for $20.
However, this year I'm not even going to mention it. More than two weeks before the tournament, it's sold out. All the starting times are spoken for. All the dinner reservations are taken. Obviously readers of this column know a bargain - and a good cause - when they see one.
The cause is Heroes, Inc. This is the organization that looks after the widows and orphans left behind by area law officers and firefighters who give their lives in the line of duty.
If 500 golfers tee off, Heroes will gross $10,000 from their $20 fees. This is not a sum to be sneezed at.
But it's peanuts compared to the sums Heroes, Inc., needs each year. For example, each widow is given $2,500 within 24 hours of her loss - just to reassure her that she's not alone, that the community cares. Later, when she is better able to plan her future, she is given expert counseling and continuing financial help.
In the year since I last told you abou the Heroes golf tournament, six more heroes have lost their lives in the service of our area. One fire fighter has died, and five policemen have been gunned down, two of them earlier this week.
So as you can see, $10,000 doesn't go far, especially when there are young children to raise and educate.
One of the greatest sources of satisfaction for those whose money supports Heroes, Inc., is the group's scholarship fund. It guarantees that every child left behind by a law enforcement officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty will get a college education if he wants one.
That takes a lot of money these days, but we think it's worth it.
Those who would like to help Heroes, Inc., in its work are invited to send in contributions at this time. Last year, the public contributed far more than the golf fees could produce, and a check for $52,500 was turned over to the Heroes, Inc., Scholarship Fund. If you would like to help this year, here's how to do it. Make your check (it's tax deductible, of course) to the order of Heroes, Inc. Mail it to "Heroes Golf Committee, P.O. Box [WORD ILLEGIBLE], Washington, D.C., [WORD ILLEGIBLE]." Not one penny will be deducted from your gift for "expenses" or any other purpose. Members of Heroes, Inc., pay all expenses out of their own pockets.
If you don't think we owe something to those left behind by men and women who lay down their lives in our service, just skip it. I'm not going to nag you. In fact, I'm not even going to mention the matter. The doggone tournament has become so popular that I couldn't even get a starting time. I'm on standby, waiting for somebody to cancel out. If Bill Mayhugh is too sleepy to play, maybe they'll give me his starting time. But of course if he's really zonked out, I'll challenge him to some gin rummy instead.