Valdosta Daily Times

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April 6, 2014

Lee Crews Memorial Tournament returns

VALDOSTA — Police Officer Lee Crews’ shift was coming to a close on Jan. 24, 1984, when he received a call for backup.

A robbery in progress. Arriving downtown, in what is now the Bank of America parking lot, Crews saw a person running. Catching up to the suspect, Lee Crews was shot. He was killed in the line of duty. He was only 27 years old.

Since 1997, organizers have held the Lee Anthony Crews Memorial No-Tap Bowling Tournament and Auction. The annual event raises money for area law-enforcement officers and scholarships for Valdosta State University criminal-justice majors.

The event returns next weekend.

The scholarships are for local residents of the following counties and cities within the counties: Brooks, Berrien, Cook, Echols, Lanier and Lowndes, said Linda Ray, a tournament organizer. A few years ago, the family changed course in the direction of this fundraiser and joined with the VSU Foundation to establish the Lee Crews Memorial Scholarship Fund to local residents who attend VSU and are majoring in criminal justice.

The tournament and auction have raised more than $50,000 through the years.

About 65 bowlers participate each year, but there is room for more. It is open to anyone who wishes to participate.

“This is a five-person team, and you do not have to have a full team to participate,” Ray said. “Walk-ins are always welcome. All bowlers will be provided lunch. The auction begins immediately after bowling.”

The auction will include numerous items. Jac’s Lanes, Harmon’s Screenprinting & Awards, Ole Times Country Buffet, Johnson Distributing have been instrumental in the continuation of this event.

The 17th Annual Lee Anthony Crews Memorial No-Tap Bowling Tournament & Auction is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, Jac’s Lanes, 406 Connell Road, with registration and lunch, starting at 11 a.m. Entry fee: $25. More information: Contact Linda Ray, (229) 559-7108.

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