By Lt. Michael Tuntakit, A.A., Public Information Officer
Avenal State Prison
When staff members hit hard times, “passing the hat” is a familiar site as fellow workers reach into their pockets to help those in need. At Avenal State Prison (ASP), several employees pushed to be more proactive rather than reactive.
Several years ago, ASP had an employee hardship assistance program known as 10-33, which is code for “officer needs assistance.” The employees have reinstated the program under a new banner, Badge of Brothers.
This program raises funds for employees in time of need during various types of hardship such as injury, illness, fire, death of a family member or other financial difficulties. In the past, the group 10-33 would hold fund raising events such as barbecues or simply passing the hat when hardship hit.
The employees involved with Badge of Brothers want to be proactive rather than reactive to have a fund at the ready for times when tragedy strikes employees or their families.
Badge of Brothers members anticipate having several fund raising functions as well as community events to aid other charities.
On March 30, 2013, the first Badge of Brothers Car Show was a huge success and was able to donate $2,110.62 to Wish Upon a Star and $2,110.62 to Make a Wish Foundation.
On October 4, 2014, in downtown Lemoore on D Street between Fox and Follett, the second Badge of Brothers Car Show joined forces with the Downtown Merchants Association and several other members of the Lemoore community.
The fundraiser included drawings, food and merchandise vendors.
The event raised over $8,000 to help future employees in need and $2,000 was donated to the Children’s Hospital Central California.