Fraternal Order of Police golf tournament benefits Owen’s House

The Shelby County Fraternal Order of Police hosted the 10th annual Ruth Barnes Memorial Golf Tournament benefitting Owen's House on Aug. 28 at Ballantrae Golf Club. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

The Shelby County Fraternal Order of Police hosted the 10th annual Ruth Barnes Memorial Golf Tournament benefitting Owen’s House on Aug. 28 at Ballantrae Golf Club. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Former and current law enforcement officials from across Shelby County participated in the 10th annual Ruth Barnes Memorial Golf Tournament hosted by the Shelby County Fraternal Order of Police at Ballantrae Golf Club on Aug. 28.

Named after Shelby County FOP State Trustee Jim Barnes’ late wife, Ruth Barnes, the tournament raises money to benefit Owen’s House, a nonprofit agency that serves victims of child abuse and their families, and assists in child abuse investigations.

“The golf tournament originally started as an opportunity for us to raise funds and proceeds to invest in philanthropic activities in Shelby County,” Shelby County FOP President and Sergeant with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Clay Hammac explained. “(Ruth Barnes) was such an active part in the Fraternal Order of Police. She had a heart for service… this is a great way to honor her and her legacy.”

Twenty-one teams of law enforcement officials and community members alike played the course at Ballantrae and enjoyed lunch at the club’s grill. However, the event was more than just a fun morning of golf.

“It’s been very successful,” Hammac said, noting the annual tournament generates more than $3,000 for Owen’s House.

Owen’s House supports child victims of sexual abuse and their families through a number of services, including therapy, court support and parenting classes.

“We see (child) physical and sexual abuse victims in Shelby County,” Owen’s House counselor Kari Wilson explained.

Owen’s House also presents prevention programs at schools across Shelby County. These programs educate children in kindergarten, first, second and third grades on the differences of “welcome versus unwelcome touches” and “abuse versus punishment” Wilson explained.

“Some kids don’t know that it’s wrong,” Owen’s House counselor Erica Smith said. “(We) teach them what’s not appropriate so they can speak up.”

“We give them the education, that way we can step in and prevent (abuse),” Wilson said, highlighting “awareness” as the primary goal of the school programs.

The proceeds generated from the Ruth Barnes Memorial Golf Tournament fund “direct services” at Owens House, Smith and Wilson said.

“We proudly contributed the proceeds to Owen’s House,” Hammac said.