It was a short trip to Pine Barrens Country Club on Monday, but the hope for the organizers of their golf outing was that the money would go a long way in helping the children of Howell and surrounding towns.
Monday was the first golf outing held by the Howell Police Athletic (PAL) League and Sgt. Chris Hill said he hopes it is the first of many his group will hold. "It's another way to put the word out about PAL and it also gives a lot of people who are golfers and business owners a chance to meet our kids."
Close to 30 young volunteers from Howell gave their time to help at the event, which Hill said will help fund the programming they hold all year long. "We no longer want to be the best kept secret," he said. "All our fundraisers go right back into our programs."
Just recently the group made a trip into New York City to visit the Museum of Tolerance and they have also gone to help in areas affected by natural disasters including hurricanes and tornadoes.
The fact that so many people were willing to come out to help the program made the event even more special for Hill. "That's the good thing about Howell, we have support for our kids from the entire community."
The people who took part in the day came from a variety of areas from the town. That includes Carl Vella of the Howell Police Department. "We're here to support a good cause and to support the PAL of Howell Township," he said.
Board of Education President Tim O'Brien said he was glad his home course was able to host the event. "It raises money for important programs to support our youth in the community," he said. "It allows us to fund scholarships, and it allows us to fund trips where they can be involved in helping other communities and gain valuable experiences as people who can make a difference in the lives of others."
He also said the programs the PAL holds are an important part of the community and the partnership the board has with the township and other groups who work with the younger residents in town. "It's one of the most important missions in PAL to create a strong partnership between the police and the youth in the community so they view them as allies and friends and mentors in the community as opposed to someone they have to be worried about."
O'Brien said the board and the PAL are similar in many ways which helps them work together. "Our missions are together parallel and by supporting each other we make each other stronger."
Mayor Robert Walsh said he was glad to see such a strong turnout for the day. "The Howell PAL in conjunction with the board of ed and the governing body is doing some great things for the citizens of Howell Township," he said. "I think you're seeing a model for the rest of the United States of where governing bodies and boards of ed can be working with youth organizations like the Police Athletic League."
The day included not only a day on the golf course but also a luncheon and a banquet after as well as a silent raffle for a variety of prizes including an autographed Lawrence Taylor jersey and a round of golf at Trump National in Colts Neck.