Under threatening skies that broke up just as the tournament began, 144 golfers grabbed their clubs and ventured onto the green in their Hawaiian shirts at Friday’s 2nd Annual Chief Michael Maloney Memorial Golf Classic.
They included family, friends, members of the law enforcement community, and others who came to support the cause and remember the slain Greenland chief who was always in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt when he wasn’t in uniform.
Some appeared to be pros while others admitted they weren’t very good.
But at this charity event, skill wasn’t all that important, especially for the “crooked drive” contest.
Those who knew Maloney said he enjoyed golfing even though he had a lot of trouble with the game.
“When he hit the ball it never went straight. It was always crooked,” joked long-time friend John Pickering of Portsmouth, a 36-year law enforcement veteran who serves as chairman of the Chief Michael Maloney Memorial Fund.
The fund was established in the wake of Maloney’s death on April 12, 2012. He was killed during a drug raid at the Greenland home of Cullen Mutrie, who fired on members of the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force. Four other officers were wounded and Maloney was killed when he tried to save wounded officers. Mutrie later killed his estranged girlfriend, Brittany Tibbetts, before turning the gun on himself.
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, the guest speaker at Friday’s charity golf tournament, recalled Maloney’s heroics and his service.
“I really think Mike did bring the sun here. He’s looking down and he’s seeing all these great crazy clothes, the Hawaiian shirts, and especially the bright clothing, and most of all, the tribute to him. He was certainly someone who did so much for this state, gave his life in the line of duty. Did so much for others, going out right before his retirement to do his job to help other people, putting his life on the line,” she said.
The event was organized by members of the memorial fund, which provides financial support to public safety members and their families injured or killed in the line of duty; gives scholarships to members of public safety agencies and their children or members of the community looking to enter the public safety field; and provides community grants in Maloney’s memory or his interests, or for training or equipment for public safety agencies.
The first 10 scholarships — each $1,000 — will be presented to graduates from area high schools on July 11.
Other funds are also being sent to the families of wounded MBTA Transit Officer Richard “Dic” Donohue and fallen MIT Officer Sean Collier, who was shot and killed after allegedly being ambushed by the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Organizers plan to keep the golf tournament an annual event.
“This is something he would love to do. Having a good time and having fun, that’s what he was all about. He would have fun at work, he would have fun with his friends. This, I think, is how he would want to be remembered,” Greenland police Sgt. Dawn Sawyer, who also serves on the memorial fund’s board of directors, said of Maloney.
Last year’s tournament raised about $53,000, Pickering said.
“I think this year we’re going to do fairly well. The more that we make, the more that we can give back to the community. That’s what’s important to us,” he said.