Nearly $2,000 was split between the Martinsville Sheriff’s Office, Martinsville Police Department, and Henry County Sheriff’s Office. The funds raised at the Sept. 17 Back the Blue Ride and Bassett Highway 57 Cruise-In will support the individual agencies’ benevolence funds.
The amount raised this year was $1,970, a little more than last year’s total of $1,915.85. The money was split between the three departments with each receiving $656.66. The money goes towards individual agency’s benevolence funds, which help provide things like baskets to an officer when a family member passes away.
The Back the Blue Ride, which attracted more than 70 participants before culminating in a Cruise In, was hosted and sponsored by the Greater Bassett Area Community (GBAC) and B99.9. This was the second year of the Cruise In hosting the fundraiser to support local law enforcement.
Derek Seay, Senior Marketing Consultant for B99, presented one of the checks.
“I just thank all of y’all, everything you did on the Cruise In and everything y’all do every day, you know, keeping the streets safe. I really appreciate it,” he said.
John “Smokey” Pegram, president of GBAC, reflected on the support for law enforcement attending the event.
“I was thinking, coming over here, how many people were involved in raising this money and showing their support,” he said. “The one thing that struck me was the positive, not one word of negative about ‘They get all of this anyway’, but it was showing an appreciation for you guys. And that’s what their efforts and our contribution really help to do.”
Regardless of the backlash law enforcement has faced, especially in recent years, Pegram said area law enforcement agencies are appreciated by most in the community.
“The fact that the police have been somewhat belittled and so forth over the past few years … it’s warming to know that people, really down in their hearts, know and support what you do and the hazards you face and all the efforts that go into making us safe and taking care of the situation related to your job,” he said.
“Our community, Bassett and the area, and all of us here and the support that B99 did was just remarkable,” he added.