Sheriff's posse tees off

Sheriff Chip Harding has turned into something of a fundraising machine, expanding the designated prisoner-transport/subpoena-serving role of sheriff in Albemarle and creating the largest volunteer deputy reserve force in Virginia. Last year, his Sheriff's Posse Golf Round-up raised enough money to buy a mobile command trailer, essential, he says, for search and rescue operations.

This year, he wanted to raise enough money to buy a truck to have attached to the command trailer and ready to go. Good news. By 9am May 16, he'd already had one donated, courtesy of Allen and Heather Powell.

About 180 golfers participated at Old Trail, and the sheriff's auxillary helicopter flew in twice during the day, courtesy of King Family Vineyards owner David King, another posse volunteer.

Harding says the event brought in at least $30,000, which will go toward defraying the out-of-pocket costs volunteers spend on uniforms and equipment, and toward programs such as Project Lifesaver, which provides transponder bracelets for those at risk of wandering off.