Clarendon fundraiser honors late sheriff's investigator Smith

BY SHARRON HALEY
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 7/6/18

MANNING - A bright sun and sweltering temperatures didn't stop fellow law enforcement officers, family, friends and supporters from walking for 49 minutes around the track at Manning High School's Ramsey Field in support of a law enforcement officer …

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Clarendon fundraiser honors late sheriff's investigator Smith

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MANNING - A bright sun and sweltering temperatures didn't stop fellow law enforcement officers, family, friends and supporters from walking for 49 minutes around the track at Manning High School's Ramsey Field in support of a law enforcement officer who was killed in Clarendon County in 2014.

Holmes N. Smith Jr., an investigator with Clarendon County Sheriff's Office and a 19-year veteran of law enforcement, died in the line of duty on Nov. 5, 2014, when he was on his way back to Manning after meeting with his counterparts in Sumter County.

At the spot where the accident occurred on S.C. 521 north of Alcolu, a cross was erected that bears the colors of his beloved NFL team, the Miami Dolphins.

Since her husband's death, Mallett Smith said she's had contact with numerous people that he helped anonymously.

"I received so many correspondences from so many people regarding all the acts of kindness that Holmes had done," she said. "Acts no one knew about. Things he had done and people that he had helped just because it was the right thing to do. That was just who he was."

Mallett Smith said it was the "desire of the family to continue his legacy and honor him" by establishing a charitable foundation that bears his name, The Inv. Holmes N. Smith Jr. Foundation Inc.

On June 30, Mallett Smith along with a host of volunteers held the organization's inaugural fundraiser, "49 minutes: Walking the line," a reference to Smith's 49th birthday on June 15.

Walkers would walk, jog or run around the stadium's football field for 49 minutes collecting donations for each lap or a donation for the entire event.

"I don't even have the words to express how overjoyed I am," she said following the event. "On behalf of my family, we thank all of you for this awesome day."

Clarendon County Sheriff Tim Baxley and his wife, Helen, along with Clarendon County Sheriff's Maj. Donnie Drose and his wife, Angel, and daughter, Jordan, CCSO Deputy Gabriel Blackwell, Capt. Sonia Daniels with Manning Police Department, other law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel as well as family members and supporters from Clarendon School District 2, where Mallett Smith is employed, walked the track.

"I was so excited to see the number of friends who joined us and braved the heat and walked the mile for 49 minutes," Mallett Smith added. "I love you guys!"

Daniels said she attended the event in support of the Mallett and Smith families as well as in support of law enforcement officers everywhere.

"I did it to support our fallen officer," Daniels added. "He gave his life to law enforcement. Today we honor and remember him. Tomorrow it may be someone else."

Mallett Smith said that the net proceeds from Saturday's event would be used to provide scholarships and resources for the Clarendon County community.

If you'd like to make a donation or if you'd like additional information on the foundation, visit The Inv. Holmes N. Smith Jr. Foundation Inc.'s Facebook page.