Fundraiser recipient chooses to donate to children’s hospital
By Lt. Angelo Gonzales, AA/Public Information Officer
Mule Creek State Prison
Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) recently hosted its ninth annual Memorial Golf Tournament at the Castle Oaks Golf Club in Ione, benefiting Correctional Officer Roy Chavez who is currently battling a serious medical condition.
Officer Chavez has been an officer at MCSP since graduating the academy in January 1990.
MCSP raised $20,000 for Officer Chavez, who chose to donate all the proceeds from the golf tournament to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program.
While at UC Davis Hospital receiving treatment for his own medical condition, Officer Chavez said he was inspired by the children’s smiles and laughter. He said his heart was inspired to give the proceeds to the children in the Sacramento region who are battling cancer.
“The children have a greater need than I do, and I want to give to them,” Officer Chavez said.
The annual golf tournament was started in 2007 to honor the memory of Correctional Officer and U.S. Marine 1st Sgt.,Michael Barnhill, who was killed in 2005 while on active duty in Iraq.
Officer Barnhill was killed when his vehicle was struck by an IED (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 organizes bake sales, barbecues and solicits donations from local businesses and the community.
This year, MCSP partnered with contractors from the Infill Project — Hensel Phelps, Broward Builders and Gilbane Kitchell . The success of the May 29, 2015, tournament is also attributed to the over 150 golf participants, and contributions from individual staff, CCPOA, CCSO, CCWA, SEIU, local and out of the area business sponsors, and the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation.
On Aug. 6, Officer Chavez, in a small ceremony, presented a check for $20,000.00 to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program.
“Roy’s donation will help us provide resources that help normalize the hospital environment for hospitalized children,” said UC Davis Director of Patient Care Services Judie Boehmer in a UC Davis publication. “We can purchase many items such as laptops and iPads, which will not only distract children from their illness, but help them keep up with their school studies. Chavez’s donation will also pay for more supplies for art and other activities, which can be very therapeutic for hospitalized children. The department offers a variety of play materials for each child’s bedside, as well as play opportunities in the playrooms, and uses the creative arts to promote healing through self-expression.”
Warden Joe Lizarraga said being of service and helping children is rewarding.
“Our tournament has shown that it strengthens our work family, enhances employee morale, and most importantly gives us the ability to help our employees, their families, and in this case the children living in the Sacramento region fighting courageous battles with cancer,” said Warden Lizarraga. “There is no greater satisfaction than improving the life of a child.”