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University and area law enforcement representatives, from left, University President Bobby K. Marks, University Police Chief Charles Tackett, Walker County Sheriff Victor Graham, Huntsville Police Lt. Mark Pemberton, 100 Club President N. M. "Mack" Brown and 100 Club Executive Director Rick Hartley during announcement of expansion of 100 Club territory into Walker County.

100 Club Extends Coverage
To Walker County

By Michelle C. Lyons/The Huntsville Item

It's a phone call the families of law enforcement officials hope they never receive - a call telling them the officer in their lives was killed in the line of duty.

But those calls sometimes do come, and to provide financial assistance to the survivors of peace officers who lose their lives while fighting crime, there is a special organization known as The 100 Club.

On Wednesday, 100 Club officials announced that coverage - originally centered around the Greater Houston area - now will extend into Walker County, bringing the number of counties offered 100 Club benefits to 11.

The announcement means that Walker County businesses and individuals will be able to become club members, paying dues which help provide financial assistance to the survivors of slain officers and other benefits to law enforcement officials in the 11-county coverage area.

Plus, including Walker County in the club's coverage area now means that Walker County law enforcement officials will be able to receive club benefits, including the security of knowing that, should they be killed in the line of duty, their dependents will receive financial assistance.

Local law enforcement officials also will be able to apply to receive life-protecting equipment such as radios and bulletproof vests and to receive scholarships to study law enforcement at either Sam Houston State University or the University of Houston-Downtown.

"I'm excited about it," said Walker County Sheriff Victor Graham. "It's something the community and officers here have needed for a long time."

The club operates not only through membership fees, but also from extra donations from individuals and companies.

Rick Hartley, 100 Club executive director, said most of the club members do not have any direct dealings or relations with law enforcement officials but rather a simple desire to support them.

Hartley added that the more than 12,000 members of the 100 Club come from all walks of life, with the main similarity being that the members all realize the sacrifice law enforcement officials make every day by putting their lives on the line.

"On a daily basis, these people risk their lives (for us)," he said.

Memberships for individuals are available at $100 per year or $1,000 for a lifetime membership. The $1,000 may either be paid as a single payment or at $250 per year for four consecutive years.

Business membership dues are $150 annually or $1,500 for a business life membership, which may be paid only as a single payment.

The club is a nonprofit agency, meaning all donations and membership fees are tax deductible.

For more information about The 100 Club, call (713) 952-0100 or check the club's website.

- END -

Wednesday's announcement of the expansion of the 100 Club to Walker County was made at Sam Houston State University. Many officers assisted by the 100 Club have attended Sam Houston State University, and SHSU President Bobby K. Marks was instrumental in the organization's decision to expand.

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
September 9, 1999
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