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Annual ‘Shop With …’ fundraiser held

The 7th Annual Shop With A Cop Golf Tournament was held Friday afternoon at Crown Pointe Golf Course in Farmington and there was a good turnout with 70 players this year.

Event organizer Don Droege said he thought they lost a few people this year because they had it on the weekend after 4th of July. He explained they usually hold it the second weekend of the month, but due to a family obligation he had to switch the weekend of the tournament.

“We have 70 players, which is nice and it is a lot of people from high school, grade school and friends for life,” Droege said. “When Steve Carr and Jim Hart met these guys, I always brought them down for a tournament, they suggested I turn my tournament into a fundraiser and that is how we adopted Shop With A Cop.”

Golfers were able to enjoy a relaxing day of golf with old friends while helping a great cause.

Golfers were able to enjoy a relaxing day of golf with old friends while helping a great cause.

Droege said they never know who will show up each year, so it’s always fun to find out who comes down for the event. He added they usually raise $10,000 each year.

“We have some auction items this year,” Droege said. “There are six sets of Cardinals tickets, which are worth $600 apiece … they are right behind home plate. The whole day is fun and Big River Broadband does a wonderful thing for us, every year Big River has supported us. They are actually high school buddies of ours, so Jerry Howe and Kevin Cantwell own and run Big River Broadband.”

Each year the annual Shop With A Cop Golf Tournament raises thousands of dollars and is one of the largest annual fundraisers for the program which provides a Christmas shopping opportunity for area needy children. There were 70 players this year.

Each year the annual Shop With A Cop Golf Tournament raises thousands of dollars and is one of the largest annual fundraisers for the program which provides a Christmas shopping opportunity for area needy children. There were 70 players this year.

Droege said the company owners give them a chunk of money to start with and have been their major supporter from day one. He added there were three other supporters who gave a $1,000 each.

“It’s just guys and gals we grew up with and they are doing well, so they wanted to support the Shop With A Cop organization,” Droege said. “Also, we really think of this as our time, as guys that grew up together in a parish called St. Luke’s, we were always known as the ‘Lukers’, so for us this is known as the’ Lukers Tournament’ once a year.”

Golfers enjoyed a few beers while out on the green.

Golfers enjoyed a few beers while out on the green.

Droege said they also have some females they went to grade school with who play in the tournament.

“Dustin Hoehn has been fabulous and has given us so much stuff and has been so accommodating to anything we needed,” Droege said. “By him being general manager, he has made this tournament grow and it has been the best tournament, as far as organization, through Dustin, we have had since the history of the tournament. They have bent over backwards for us and for Shop With A Cop, to not only host it, but also to contribute, give us things and make it special for us.”

Each year the annual Shop With A Golf Tournament raises thousands of dollars and is one of the largest annual fundraisers for the program which provides a Christmas shopping opportunity for area needy children.

Each year the annual Shop With A Golf Tournament raises thousands of dollars and is one of the largest annual fundraisers for the program which provides a Christmas shopping opportunity for area needy children.

“Jim Kilker orchestrates this event with me, and without him we couldn’t put this together each year,” Droege said. “There are a lot of people who do a lot of things to help, but it’s hard to mention everyone.”

Don Droege, left, and Jim Kilker, right, pictured with St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock, center, organize the golf tournament each year to benefit Shop With A Cop.

Don Droege, left, and Jim Kilker, right, pictured with St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock, center, organize the golf tournament each year to benefit Shop With A Cop.

St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock said this tournament has meant that an extra 100 kids get to go shop with a cop and have a good Christmas each year.

“This tournament has helped us do that. We were running 350 to 400 kids and when Droege and his guys became involved they were able to support more kids,” Bullock said. “The tournament is going pretty well.”

Bullock said they have also been selling tickets on a four-wheeler raffle, another fundraiser held each year. They have been selling the tickets at Country Days, Bismarck Freedom Fest and will be at this year’s Desloge Labor Day Picnic and other fall festivals.

“I do want to thank Don Droege and friends for adopting us as their charity,” Bullock said. “They have held this tournament for seven years now and all of the proceeds goes to the kids. We want to thank them and we really appreciate them for coming out from St. Louis and the surrounding area. They aren’t even local and they are helping the kids here in St. Francois County.”

“We had 18 teams out there and that is a good deal,” Shop With A Cop Coordinator Lora Henson said. “It was on a Friday this year compared to our normal Saturday, so it’s a little bit different. We had a good turnout and this our biggest event of the year. We pretty much don’t do anything with this, Droege sets it up and gets everything going.”

“They bring in a lot to the community, which is really good and it helps us out,” Henson said. “They normally bring in $10,000 and we are hoping for that again this year.”

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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