New Tradition at Principal Charity Classic Will Put Police at Center Stage

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Principal Charity Classic is fresh off claiming the President's Award as the PGA Tour Champions Tournament of the Year.  "If you do the right things, good things happen to you," said Tournament Director Greg Conrad.

This year, Greg Conrad has a new trophy trick up his sleeve.  A champions jacket.  "Chief of Police Dana Wingert will be here and this will be the exact jacket he's wearing," said Conrad.

On Sunday, June 11th the PCC Tournament champion at Wakonda Club will be cloaked in it.  "Very unique, I can't think of another golf tournament that gives a jacket out like this," said Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department.  These jackets are hard to come by.  Sergeant Parizek said, "There's only like four to five officers of rank that wear this."

It's creating a trophy the best of the best would even say, is one of a kind. "It's a unique trophy.  It's not like your standard cup or bowl or plaque. It's a jacket and not something you see in a legend of golf`s trophy case," said Conrad.

The jacket also harkens to some dark days in the department's recent history.  "It's the same style that Chief Wingert wore when he memorialized our officers at the funerals," added Parizek. It will soon also be seen as a tradition of excellence, "It only makes sense for us to embrace those that protect us and sacrifice their time and their lives," said Conrad.

The cases inside the Des Moines Police Department are filled with memorabilia of organizations and sports teams across the state.  While they provide a heart-felt memory of the three officers, it is also a brutal reminder of the sacrifice it takes to serve a community they love.  "Bittersweet is the best way to describe what we go through everyday," said Parizek. He added, "The way our community continues to honor us and support us is just outstanding."

Add yet another organization willing to chip in." We want to show why we are all here today. We are not just here for golf.  We are here because we want to recognize those in our community," said Conrad.

The Principal Charity Classic has also received a donation from Electronic Engineering that will allow free admission to first responders and their families on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the tournament.  The ticket also includes free food and drink inside a special skybox for first responders.  Just visit www.principalcharityclassic.com/firstresponders