The Pleasantville Police Foundation tried its hand at its first golf outing as a fundraiser on May 11 at the Mays Landing Country Club.
The event was so successful with more than $15,000 raised from 88 golfers and sponsors that it will return next year, said Cpt. Frank Balles of the Pleasantville Police Department and president of the foundation.
"It was fabulous. A couple of people came just to have dinner. There was beautiful weather for the outing," said Balles on May 14 during a phone interview. "There is still money coming in."
Avid golfer John Douris, the owner of Johnny D's Pizzeria & Restaurant, was the event chair and is a foundation board member.
Douris said he believes the golf outing will be the first of many.
"It was just a gorgeous day," Douris said.
The Pleasantville Police Foundation has been in existence for two years. The golf outing was in the planning stage for a couple of months, Douris said. Douris and Balles visited local golf courses and decided to hold their event at the Mays Landing Country Club.
Douris invited people he knew from the restaurant business and his golfing buddies. Word of mouth about the event spread quickly, he said.
The Pleasantville Police Foundation's mission has been to have city leaders service the community and fill in where traditional police and government resources cannot reach.
The Pleasantville Police Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization, has been able to bring back youth programs that disappeared such as the girls PAL basketball team and the Pleasantville Police Explorer Post No. 100 as well as help with the financing of a host of other events and programs during the past two years.
The Pleasantville Police Foundation has been able to reduce costs so that city children only have to pay $20 or $25 to participate for an entire year in a sport, Chief Sean Riggin.
Riggin would like the foundation to have enough money that the city children could join either Explorer Post No. 100 or the girls PAL basketball team for free.
The foundation paid half the cost for a police K-9 dog for the department previously, and it also paid for the giveaways to children during National Night Out such a backpacks, T-shirts and bicycle helmets, Riggin said.
In the future, Riggin sees the foundation holding two major fundraisers annually: the awards dinner in the fall, which will remain; and the golf outing, which can be held every spring, he said.
"Golf is fun. It's what people do in May," Riggin said.
Besides the individual golfers, some of the large sponsors that have helped the foundation include Atlantic City Electric, the Greentree Mortgage Co. based in Egg Harbor Township and Enforsys Inc., a company based in Millburn, Essex County, that provides public safety software to law enforcement agencies.