Teeing Off for Integrity

Playing around takes on a whole new meaning as law enforcement personnel trade in their badges for golf clubs during the 14th annual Deputy Don Self Integrity Club Golf Tournament on Aug. 5 at the Antelope Valley Country Club in Palmdale.

The event raises funds for the Don Self Scholarship program, which assists area youngsters who are seeking higher education, representatives said.

Self, who died of bone cancer in 2000, was a Palmdale Sheriff's Station deputy posted at the Antelope Valley Mall. On an almost daily basis, he dealt with otherwise good kids who made the decision to shoplift, representatives said.

"If we can teach the true meaning of integrity, dignity and credibility, it could well be the most important lesson they will ever learn," Self had said.

To that end, he required these youngsters to submit a letter to him before they could return to the mall, outlining what they had learned about these three words.

He received more than 300 letters, many of which were evidence that the writers took Self's lesson to heart. His initiative became known as the Integrity Club.

As Self grew more and more ill with cancer, a group of Palmdale deputies wanted to find a way to keep the Integrity Club spirit alive.

So organizers settled upon an annual golf tournament that would raise scholarship funds to be handed out each year to high school students eager to pursue educational career goals beyond high school.

However, instead of the scholarships being awarded to students with the highest grade-point average or the most extra-curricular activities, organizers wanted the recipients to be students who were overcoming obstacles to be successful.

Recipients often include those first-time offenders caught stealing from stores in the mall who submitted an acceptable letter to the mall, established they had learned their lessons and stayed out of trouble the remaining years of high school before applying for the scholarships, officials said.

Registration for the tournament is $100 for LASD personnel; $125 for non-LASD personnel and includes green fees, cart, range balls and a marshmallow driving contest along with a continental breakfast and catered banquet lunch.

The four-player scramble event includes team awards and prizes for closest to the pin, longest drive, pitching and putting as well as a live auction and raffles.

Check-in is at 8 a.m. with shotgun start at 9 a.m. at the country club, 38900 Country Club Drive.

For details, call Deputy Jodi Wolfe at (661) 272-2520 or email jewolfe@lasd.org.

Story courtesy of AV Press