LONDON – Lana Cornett stepped up to the practice green at Crooked Creek Golf Course Monday morning and sank a 20-foot putt with a precision typically reserved for the club’s professional.
Cornett, who doesn’t play golf, reacted with astonishment to the cheers of the 55 golfers gathered for a scramble named in honor of her late husband, Charles L. Cornett, a former Kentucky State Police deputy commissioner.
The soft-spoken Cornett was accompanied by her son, Justin Cornett, and surrounded by many friends from law enforcement for the ceremonial opening. Using a golf cart chauffeured by her good friend Tammi Gorman, Mrs. Cornett made it a point to individually thank each of the 14 teams as they played their way around the sprawling Laurel County links.
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By early afternoon the teams had completed their rounds and awards presented, but the biggest winners were two summer camps for youth – Camp UNITE and Camp Promise. Each camp received a check for $1,487 presented by Justin Cornett.
Accepting for Camp UNITE was Karen Kelly, director of Operation UNITE.
“Charlie was very passionate about youth,” Kelly said, noting Cornett was one of the individuals whose vision created the anti-drug organization eight years ago.
Camp UNITE, now in its fifth summer, is a free five-day, four-night leadership/adventure program for youth across 29 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky who will be entering grades 7-9. This year’s camp will be held July 25-29 on the University of the Cumberlands campus in Williamsburg.
Camp Promise directors KSP Trooper Ben Campbell and HIDTA officer Russell Dishner accepted for their organization.
The third annual Camp Promise, a free four-day, three-night program for children from Perry, Knott and Breathitt counties, will be held June 20-23 at the Twin Rocks Bible Camp in Perry County.
Both camps seek to help youth develop leadership skills, build confidence and trust, and interact with positive role models.
Cornett, of Hindman, served more than 38 years with the KSP, retiring as a sergeant in 2000. He rejoined the KSP as assistant to the commissioner in 2002, retiring from that role 18 months later. He passed away last November at age 65.
Kentucky State Police Capt. Scott Miller, commander of Post 13 in Hazard, called the first Charlie Cornett Memorial Golf Scramble a huge success.
This sentiment was echoed by UNITE Law Enforcement Director Dan Smoot, who said the scramble exceeded all expectations.
“Charlie was a very passionate advocate for youth,” Smoot said. “It is very fitting that his legacy continues to benefit so many children.”
Taking first place in the scramble was the team of Bill Crisp, Shannon Crisp, Greg Kemper and David Nichols. Second place went to the team of Tommy Baker Clyde Caudill, James Caudill and Tim Kilburn. Third place honors went to Randall Abner, Fred Brashear, Fred Combs and E.T. Gabbard.
Prizes were also awarded to Jack Duff for closest to the pin, Karl Lewis for the longest drive, and David Nichols for the longest putt.