Markham Park was crackling Friday with the sound of gunfire as the Broward Sheriff’s Office held its first-ever “Cops and Clays Trap Shooting Tournament.”
The competition invited marksmen, amateur shooters and pro athletes like Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Nate Garner, who praised the tournament and its cause, which is helping the Florida Sheriffs Association Youth Ranches program raise money.
“My parents used to always say, 'Idle hands are the devil's workshop,' you know? So, get them doing something, get them busy out doing all kinds of different stuff – expose them to different things, and hopefully, they have a better childhood, and grow up to be good adults,” Garner said.
Fifteen teams signed up for “Cops and Clays,” and each paid hundreds of dollars to compete. The proceeds will go to the Youth Ranches.
Broward Schools Resource Officer Penny McGhee has volunteered for 12 summers with Youth Ranches. She said it gives kids a summer to remember.
“They horseback ride, they canoe,” said McGhee. “They have activities for them from the time they wake up 'til the time they go to bed.”
In addition to a good time, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said the camp gives young people a chance to see law enforcement in a different, more impactful light.
“You know, it's not just about arresting kids, it's about getting their lives back on track and that's what the Florida Sheriffs Association is committed to doing,” explained Lamberti.
The Youth Ranches were founded more than 50 years ago. The program said it has helped more than 100,000 young people turn their lives around.