South Hills Country Club honors county's police officers
One-by-one, they extended their hands and said “hello” to a friend, then chatted about the day, life and the job.
“I don't get to see these guys all the time. I appreciate them,” said Jim Kuzak Jr., as police officers from across the region stopped by to catch-up.
More than 140 police officers from 20 departments across the Allegheny County gathered at the South Hills Country Club on Monday for a day of unlimited food, beverages and a free round of golf. The country club's sixth annual Police Appreciation Day served as a “fun-raiser” to show thanks to those in law enforcement for putting their lives on the line every day, organizers said.
“They deal with a lot of bad people, and even if it's just one day a year, to show them that there are people who really support them, that's why we do this,” appreciation day coordinator Tim Veith said.
The event began after the tragic events of April 4, 2009, when Pittsburgh police officers Paul Sciullo II, Stephen Mayhle and Eric Kelly were fatally shot in the line of duty, Veith said. Club members sought a way to show appreciation for police officers across the region while they are still living — and so it began. Each year, the event has honored the life of an officer killed or injured in the line of duty. In 2010, it was held in recognition of fallen Penn Hills police Officer Michael Crawshaw and state Trooper Paul G. Richey.
The next year, it was in honor of Kuzak, 42, of Rostraver, who was shot numerous times on April 4, 2011, while responding to a home invasion call as a Clairton police officer. He was paralyzed from the waist down and remains in physical therapy.
This year's event recognized K9 officer Rocco, who died in the line of duty while protecting his partner earlier this year.
Family members of some of those who lost their lives return to the golf course each year for a day with their “one big family of law enforcement,” as Max Sciullo, Paul Sciullo's father, referred to the officers.
“It's an honor for me to be here,” Sciullo said.
Max Sciullo spent the day golfing with his two grandsons and godson. On the golf course, though, he isn't as good as his son Paul always was, Sciullo noted.
“He was an intellectual young man,” Sciullo said. “He loved to golf.”
Paul Sciullo was always happy, his dad said, but he wanted to make a difference in the world, that's why he became a police officer.
“Hopefully he did,” Max Sciullo said.
For Kuzak, who grew up on the South Hills Country Club course, where his father works as the superintendent, Police Appreciation Day is something to look forward to each year.
Kuzak, even, worked at the Whitehall golf course for five years in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
“Just to be here every year over the last five years on the course where I grew up, it makes everything good,” Kuzak said. “You can't have a bad day when people show this much appreciation for what you do.”
More than 70 volunteers, up from 20 that consisted mostly of Veith family members the first year, help to make the event possible, said Trish Veith Ivy, volunteer coordinator. The volunteers are all club members who donate their time to assist the officers throughout the day.
“The importance of today's event is community,” Whitehall police Chief Donald Dolfi said. “This is about an organization, the South Hills Country Club, made up of members from various walks of life that have embraced the police officers. They have this drive to continue it, to show their thanks for what we do.”
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Search is on for new Brentwood borough building
- Rental inspection has had impact in Brentwood
- Baldwin enrolls in program to help transform vacant property
- Baldwin civil service commission member ousted
- Consultant hired to help Brentwood decide on EMS
- Work to begin on Horning Road