LOCUST GROVE — Stormy skies did nothing to dampen the spirits of attendees at Chase It Up’s Hero Day Feb. 8 at the Locust Grove Police Department.
The event was a celebration of the life of Locust Grove Police Officer Chase Maddox, killed in the line of duty on Feb. 9, 2018, while helping to serve a warrant. Maddox’s wife, Alex, said, “Our turnout and fundraising were both super-successful. Despite the weather, we had so many members of the community, friends and Blue Family come from all over the state of Georgia — some driving in the snow and sleet — to come celebrate Chase with us.”
While kids played in the rain and ate free hotdogs and burgers, the grownups enjoyed Maui Wowi specialty drinks and took part in a silent auction to raise funds for the foundation.
Among the items up for bid were a thin blue line flag sculpture with the Chase It Up tattered badge logo from CuttinEdge Rustic Flags & WoodWorks. Other businesses that donated to the event and silent auction included Advanced Roofing and Interiors; Advanced Auto Parts; Locust Grove Auto Quick Fast Lube; Haisten Funeral Home; Locust Grove Jewelry, Gun and Pawn; Southern Belle Farms; and Shane’s Rib Shack. The group also nearly sold out all its Chase Maddox decals and T-shirts.
Bodie Maddox, who was born four days after his father died, celebrated his second birthday with a cookie cake at the event, along with big brother Bradin. LaFaye Long made several cakes from scratch, Maddox said, and people in superhero attire took photos in the “Hero Day” photo booth.
Among the many who turned out to celebrate were Erin Smith, wife of Henry County Police Officer Michael Smith, and Officer Smith’s parents, John and Sherry. “It was great to hug them,” Maddox said. Both Smith and Maddox lost their husbands in line-of-duty shootings within days of expecting their second children.
“Chase It Up also announced and donated a $2,500 check to LGPD Officer Ryan Shumate’s family to cover medical expenses after his partial amputation,” Maddox said. “Despite the weather, we enjoyed every single smile, laugh, hug and all of the love shown for our hero. We are so thankful for our home base, LGPD, and all of the work they put in to honor Chase so well. We could not be more thankful for everyone who was there with us.”
To donate to Chase It Up Inc., visit chaseitup.org.
Editor's note: This article was updated on Feb. 12, 2020, to reflect that a bench donated for the event was not a creation of CuttinEdge Rustic Flags & Woodworks.