At the golf tournament earlier this year were, from left, Assistant Deputy Director Vincent Cullen, Director Bryan Beyer, Undersecretary Ralph M. Diaz, Undersecretary Kenneth Pogue. Photo by Marco Huerta.

At the golf tournament earlier this year were, from left, Assistant Deputy Director Vincent Cullen, Director Bryan Beyer, Undersecretary Ralph M. Diaz, Undersecretary Kenneth Pogue. Photo by Marco Huerta.

By Lt. Angelo Gonzales, AA/Public Information Officer
Mule Creek State Prison

Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) hosted its Tenth Annual Memorial Golf Tournament earlier this year at the Castle Oaks Golf Club in Ione, benefiting Correctional Officer Juan Flores who is currently battling a serious medical condition.

From left are Joe Garcia, Nick Lizarraga, Warden Joe A. Lizarraga and retired Warden Bill Knipp. Photo by Lori Gambill.

From left are Joe Garcia, Nick Lizarraga, Warden Joe A. Lizarraga and retired Warden Bill Knipp. Photo by Lori Gambill.

The annual golf tournament was started in 2007 to honor the memory of Correctional Officer Michael Barnhill, who also served as a First Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Officer Barnhill was killed while on active duty in Iraq in 2005 when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.  Since the first golf tournament in 2007, MCSP nominates an employee in need of assistance because of a traumatic event or illness, and donates the proceeds to the nominee and his family. Each year, the Golf Tournament Volunteer Committee works enthusiastically to organize bake sales and breakfast burrito sales as well as solicit donations from local businesses and the community.

Officer Flores, this year’s beneficiary, began his career with the CDCR at the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center on March 11, 2002, and arrived at MCSP on July 11, 2002.  Officer Flores has worked many positions and is currently assigned to the Facility B Gymnasium on second watch. Officer Flores has always been a team player and helps others whenever needed, according to his coworkers. MCSP staff and volunteers raised over $19,000 for Officer Flores.

This year, MCSP partnered with contractors from the Infill Project: Hensel Phelps, Broward Builders and Gilbane Kitchell. The success of this year’s tournament is also attributed to the over 165 golf participants, volunteers and contributions from individual staff, California Correctional Peace Officers Association, California Correctional Supervisors Association, Chicano Correctional Workers Association, SEIU, local and out-of-the-area business sponsors and the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation.

Correctional Officer Juan Flores. Photo by Marco Huerta.

Correctional Officer Juan Flores. Photo by Marco Huerta.

Volunteers worked hard to make sure the tournament was a success.

Volunteers were hard at work making sure the tournament was a success.