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Chicago area first responders treated to day on the golf course

Chicago area first responders treated to day on the golf course
Chicago area first responders treated to day on the golf course 01:50

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) – Some of the brave men and women whose job is to keep people safe got a bit of a break on Monday.

Members of several Chicago area police and fire departments spent their day on the golf course, where local organizations thanked them for their service. CBS 2's Andrew Ramos had the story.

It was a day of swings, some misses, and a whole lotta birdies.

Police officers and firefighters from a dozen departments in the Chicago area were treated for a day of golf and relaxation at the Rolling Green Country Club in Arlington Heights. It's all part of a program sponsored by Country Financial, designed to honor first responders on the frontlines who do a job where pressure is the name of the game.

"It's a great opportunity for us to have a day of fun and not think about work," said Matthew Nagy of the Palatine Fire Department.

Tim Groski, of the Buffalo Grove Police Department, added, "When I take my uniform off at the end of the shift, I try to take my mind off it, but sometimes it carries with you. There's a few calls that will stick with you for sure."

The inaugural Northwest Chicago Golf Tournament brought out players from Buffalo Grove Fire, the Palatine Fire Department, and Chicago police, just to name a few where bragging rights weren't the only things at stake.

The winner of the tournament walked away with prize money which would be donated to their department.

"We just really respect the job and the service that they do for us," said Matt Velow, of Country Financial.

Since 2020, Country Financial's initiative, "Operation Helping Heroes," has donated more than $5 million to organizations and programs that support first responders, active duty service members, and veterans.

They hope their inaugural golf tournament for the brave men and women in the Chicago area becomes an annual tradition.

"They go out there and put their lives at risk every day for us," said Tino Ramirez of Country Financial. "So it's only good for us to do something nice for them."

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