Texas635 put on its inaugural golf tournament at Rawls Course Friday, with a goal to further the organization that helps families of fallen officers in the West Texas area.
The organization started shortly after Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East was killed in the line of duty in Oct. of 2017 during an on-campus shooting.
Carmen East started this organization and partnered with Texas Tech, including the Office of the President, to put on this golf tournament at Rawls Course.
The organization also hosts a retreat to help officers dealing with mental health issues. Carmen East said when she started the Texas635 foundation, her first mission was to offer one-time financial support to the families of fallen officers in the form of $635, because of officer East’s badge number.
“We still offer that process, but we found out as we were talking in the community and to different departments that there’s a need out there,” Carmen East said. “Our board members said there’s a second need that we need to talk to and we need to work on and that’s when we started the mental wellness.”
She said her hope is to continue doing an annual golf tournament for officers in the West Texas area and to eventually expand nationwide.
“So, this is our inaugural golf tournament, and we hope to have more coming in future years,” she said.
Speaking Thursday ahead of the tournament, Carmen East said not a day goes by that she doesn’t miss her husband.
“It’s a constant thing,” East said. “Our daughters miss him terribly, too. They still go to therapy, especially when major events happen, they miss him the most. I’m glad that were able to take that character and that essence that he was and be able to put it into this foundation.”
Texas Tech Police Chief Kyle Bonath said this program helps officers heal and work from the loss.
“It started after we lost our officer here and Carmen saw a need,” Bonath said. “It’s very unusual for someone who’s going through a tragedy to take action from that and see a need that needs to be addressed and start a foundation with the proceeds from a loss to help others. So, I just think it’s a very admirable cause to support as we can to the cause. It also helps out officers kind of heal and work from the loss also.”