Event in support of local law enforcement is Saturday

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A group of local women have organized an appreciation event for Beaufort County’s law enforcement agencies this weekend.

Support from dozens of residents and business owners have made that a reality for an estimated 150 police, sheriffs, highway patrol and water patrol employees to be honored Saturday, and organizers are inviting anyone who wants to joint them in that cause.

Titled the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Support Rally, this event will take place from 5 – 7 p.m. on Saturday at the gazebo in Festival Park on Washington’s waterfront.

“One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch. I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time. Law enforcement gets a bad rap, and we want our protectors to know that Beaufort County appreciates what we have with them,” said organizer and committee co-chair Donna Parker.

Dozens of residents, business owners, and local public figures have signed onto the effort, which will feature live music, guest speakers and free food.

“We were originally thinking about giving them a big pizza lunch or something, but our committee members wanted something that the whole community could participate in,” Parker said of the group of organizers, which include Beaufort County residents Sherry Tyson, Julie Joyner, and Faye Rose.

Music will begin at about 4:30 p.m., as well as the distribution of free hot dogs and beverages for anyone who requests them. A concert by the group Double Portion of Belhaven will officially start things off, followed by a brief ceremony opened with prayer by pastor Kyle Miller of Washington Assembly of God, and presentations by several speakers.

The presenters include Rep. Keith Kidwell; Carnie Hedgepeth, Beaufort County’s director of emergency services; and Pete Benton, an eastern North Carolina native whose career in the U.S. Air Force included serving as officer In charge for the Presidential Honor Guard, reporting directly to presidents Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush.

Raffle prizes will be given to dozens of the law enforcement members during breaks between speakers, including everything from overnight stays at Beaufort County waterfront locations, a three-month gym membership, hand crafted items ranging from artwork and metalic flags to traditional wooden duck decoys, gift certificates to numerous Beaufort County businesses, and gift baskets galore.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of our donors and their dedication to Beaufort County’s law enforcement community,” Parker said regarding the fact that, in addition to supplies and prizes, monetary donations from $10 to $500 have been given by well over 30 individuals, businesses, and churches. “This is what makes Beaufort County the amazing community that we are.”