Crime Stoppers tournament set for next weekPublished 9:31pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013
McGruff the Crime Dog won’t be taking a bite out of crime next Tuesday. Instead, he’ll be teeing up golf balls for Crime Stoppers’ 17th annual golf tournament at Washington Yacht and County Club April 16.
The annual event is the organization’s main fundraiser, with proceeds going directly to funding rewards for tips called, emailed or texted in that lead to an arrest for a given crime, according to Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Inv. Karen Ball, Crime Stoppers coordinator.
“This is our biggest annual fundraiser, so we depend on this golf tournament to sustain us throughout the year,” Ball said.
Ball said that in its 17th year, the tournament has its own momentum because it’s fun and is for a good cause.
“This is one event I have never seen so many people fall over themselves to sign up teams or give door prizes,” said Beth Litchfield, a member of the investigations unit support staff. “Karen has got this event down. Why? Because of what it’s for — to keep criminals off the streets.”
“Yes, it is fun — I’ve had to turn away teams, I’ve had so many this year,” Ball said.
Twenty-five teams will hit the course Tuesday afternoon for a round of four-man Superball, in which players play off the best ball hit. The game comes complete with add-on fundraising options like mulligans (essentially, “do-overs”) and tee busters, in which players are allowed to hit from a forward tee. Included in the tournament are prizes for a hole in one, the ball closest to the pin, the longest drive of the day, as well as meals and beverages at the awards ceremony.
More fundraising comes from the sale of hole or tee sign sponsors ($150) and on-site sponsors ($250), which will fill the Crime Stoppers coffers for the next year. Others have pitched in in a variety of ways: Beaufort County Farm Bureau donated 300 golf balls for the event; First South Bank came aboard with both sponsorship and a team; and PotashCorp-Aurora will float the awards dinner.
In 2012, Beaufort County Crime Stoppers paid out more than $8,000 in reward money. In March alone this year, that number was $1,000.
“Last year, we raised $13,000. We hope to do that and maybe better this year,” Ball said.
Since 1997, Beaufort County Crime Stoppers has recovered a total of $724,322 in weapons, drugs and property from Crime Stoppers tips. In the first quarter of 2013, nineteen tips have lead to nine arrests — including those of Adam Tate, Ethan Sparrow and Dakota Selby, who were charged for a string of armed robberies and school break-ins over the Christmas holidays.
“It’s an awesome program for your major crimes,” Ball said.