Representatives of three area law enforcement agencies gathered at the Denison Golf and Country Club on Thursday where they received the $30,000 raised during the Back the Badge golf tournament held last month.
The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, the Sherman Police Department and the Denison Police Department were honored with a check presentation on the putting green to split the funds three ways, taking home $10,000 each. The inaugural Back the Badge tournament was held in late September with the goal of raising money that would ultimately be donated to the departments. The tournament was largely hosted and sponsored by Classic of Texoma and county music radio station 93.1 KMKT.
“We want to thank the Texoma community for all their incredible support of each of these three amazing departments,” Eric Bryant of Classic of Texoma said. “Every single day, all the men and women in uniform do everything they can to care for us in our time of need.”
Bryant said the tournament was organized as a way to show support for officers at a time when police departments nationwide and their tactics are under increased scrutiny. He added that turnout for the first tournament was even better than expected.
“We had, I think 100 golfers and countless volunteers,” Bryant said. “I don’t know that this golf course has seen that many people at one event and at one time. We even had a helicopter fly in and do a golf-ball drop to give everybody the opportunity to add a little excitement to the day. It was a blast.”
Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt said he and all the members of his office were grateful for the donation.
“This was amazing for us,” Watt said. “We really, really appreciate it.”
Watt explained that department’s annual necessities would been funded through the budget Grayson County Commissioners approved earlier this year, but said the $10,000 from the tournament would go toward unexpected expenses.
“We have a member of our organization that is fighting a pretty tough disease, so we’ll probably look at some of that money going to them,” Watt said. “And we’ve got some equipment issues that we need to address. So it will probably be a combination of those two things.”
KMKT host Zac Grantham said he initially hoped to raise $2,000 for each of the three departments and was thrilled when the total amount raised beat expectations five fold. Grantham added that he was already looking forward to next year’s back the badge tournament and growing the event to help even more officers
“Anytime that we need our local law enforcement, they run in to help us,” Grantham said. “We want to make the Back the Badge golf tournament a thing where we run to them when local law enforcement needs us.”