VPD GOLFER Program rewards youth

| July 21, 2016

golfer trip

VALDOSTA – Since the late 1990’s, The Valdosta Police Department with assistance from LODAC (Lowndes Drug Action Council, Inc), have put forth efforts to show gratitude for “exemplary kids” thorough the G.O.L.F.E.R or “Generating Opportunities in Life For Each Resident” program. The program targets junior high/high school aged young adults that have had no disciplinary actions and have maintained good grades throughout the school year. VPD’s own Officer Mark Burkhart developed the program in 1996 feeling that although there were many great programs targeted at keeping kids out of trouble and encouraging good behavior, there were no programs that rewarded kids that consistently stayed out of trouble and worked hard during the school year.

This past weekend, six children entering their Junior year in high school, as part of the G.O.L.F.E.R. Program, were taken to Tybee Island, Ga for an educational trip. They visited the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum. Some of the children had never been to a beach and were very excited to see it for the first time. The children had the opportunity to learn about ocean sea life, the tides, and also observed several commercial shipping vessels transporting goods to another country. Several of the children, in addition to having never been to the beach, had the opportunity to see the sunrise over the water for the first time.

The children have also participated in G.O.L.F.E.R. events such as visiting senior citizens at Sands Horizon. Also, hosting a Community Gathering to help improve the relationship between local law enforcement and citizens as well as helping keep their neighborhoods clean.

Officer Burkhart advised that continued support for this program was essential to be able to continue this positive program. The next fund raiser is scheduled for September 24, 2016 at Moody Quiet Pines Golf Course Golf Driving Range (Address: 15501 Prewitte St, Moody AFB, GA 31699 Phone: (229) 257-3297) If anyone would like more information on this program, please contact Officer Burkhart mburkhart@valdostacity.com for more information.

“The Valdosta Police Department is proud of all our youth that are striving to better themselves and to make our community a better place. VPD recognizes the assistance of Officer Mark Burkhart, LODAC, and the long hours of volunteer work that many of our officers complete behind the scenes to ensure that the futures of our young people remain bright” said Lieutenant Adam Bembry.

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