The inaugural Deputy Justin DeRosier Memorial Golf Tournament Saturday at Three Rivers Golf Course in Kelso raised nearly $30,000 and drew as many as 500 people.
Organizer Trevor Eades said the tournament went off without a hitch and even surpassed his expectations.
“When I started, I just wanted to try and get about $18,000, or $1,000 per hole,” Eades said Monday. “The event went really well, and surpassed (that goal by) quite a bit.”
Eades added that “it was a fantastic day. The weather was great, the atmosphere was great and the people were great.”
Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Katie and Lily DeRosier, the wife and daughter of Justin DeRosier, the 29-year-old Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed in the line of duty in April.
Eades, a detective with the Longview Police Department who helped with the investigation into Justin DeRosier’s death, said he started the tournament to show the DeRosiers “how many people are here for them.”
“I think for the family it was nice to see a day where they could just kick back and relax,” Eades said. “And then there was also a great response from the community. Everyone came forward.”
About 230 golfers — half of whom were members of law enforcement agencies — signed up for the tournament. But hundreds more people showed up for a silent auction or to show their support to the family, Eades said.
“There was probably 500 to 600 people out there at the middle of the day,” he said.
One of the items on the auction block was a chance to dunk Cowlitz County Sheriff Brad Thurman in a dunk tank. That item went for $200 — and inspired Woodland Police Chief Jim Kelly and Cowlitz County Prosecutor Ryan Jurvakainen to sign up in the auction to be dunked, too, Eades said.
“They were great sports,” he said. “All of them stepped up, and it was just a fun time.”
Each dunking earned “a few hundred dollars” for the fundraiser, Eades said.
Eades said he plans to make the memorial golf tournament an annual event. In the future, proceeds will go to a scholarship created in Justin DeRosier’s name to benefit youth in need.
“The DeRosiers have impacted a lot of people ... and Justin’s sacrifice has impacted a lot of people,” Eades said. “I think everyone wants to let (the family) know that we are still here.”