Photo/Special to The Source Newspaper
McGruff made his first appearance for the South Jacksonville Police Department in 1987. The first year, the McGruff Golf tournament only raised $2,000 for McGruff, but beginning the 4th year, the tournament began raising about $5,000 annually for McGruff’s Child Safety Programs. At the end of the 2013 tournament, we had raised over $100,000.00 for McGruff through our annual golf tournaments. The McGruff Program has been able to make presentations in Morgan and Scott County schools on child safety. The most popular part of the McGruff Program is the McGruff driving simulator. This is a custom designed golf cart with a second brake on it just like a driver’s education vehicle. This golf cart is used to go through simulated courses with goggles on which give the operator the feeling of being under the influence of alcohol. This program has been popular with driver’s education classes and each year a presentation is put on at Illinois and MacMurray College. McGruff makes numerous appearances in parades and health and safety fairs in the area. He has been a part of the South Jacksonville Police Department for over 25 years. This program has been totally funded by donations and no tax money is used to support the program.