The Arkansas State Police Foundation raised more than $55,000 in a golf tournament sponsored by First National Bank of Paragould and Jonesboro as at Paragould Country Club this week.
Proceeds will be used for a driving track to be built at Camp Robinson for first-responder emergency operator training that can be used by the entire state.
“It will save lives and even cut down on fender-benders,” said Paragould resident Frank Guinn, chairman of the Arkansas State Police Foundation. “Arkansas is one of three states that does not have one, so we felt it would be important.”
Will Brewer, vice chairman of First National Bank, and his family offered to host the inaugural event, which is hoped to become an annual fundraiser for the State Police Foundation. Next year’s tournament will be held in Magnolia. The Brewers also have First National branches in Northwest Arkansas and Heber Springs.
Gov. Asa Hutchison joined participants from around northeast Arkansas who made contributions ranging from $200 to $2,500, including Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin, who is a member of the Foundation.
“This was a good time and a good way to provide needed dollars for a track that will serve not only our state troopers, but every government entity in the state, including Jonesboro first responders,” Perrin said.
Perrin and Guinn said the unsung heroes of the fundraiser is the Brewer family, which provided not only the food and course time for the event but made a major donation to the Foundation.
“There’s no telling how much First National put in this,” Guinn said. “I know of no finer Americans that the Brewer family. But you can’t downplay the effort of Mayor Perrin, and Barry Phillips of Jonesboro also played a big role. It was very evident they love the state police and they love Arkansas.”
Phillips also is a member of the Foundation, which has a target of raising $12 million for the track.