Dunk a police chief for a good cause

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At Cedar Grove Elem. Fall Festival

By Stan Welch

Come on, admit it. Everybody has had an experience with a police officer that they remember less than fondly. Maybe it was a speeding ticket, or making a turn without a signal; or maybe it was the always popular Carolina rolling stop at the four way intersection.

Whatever it was, a little good spirited, charitable revenge would be nice, wouldn’t it? Well, on October 23, at the Cedar Grove Elementary School Fall Festival, two local police chiefs will be sitting on a seat above a tank of water, waiting to be dunked for a good cause.

Chief Mike Clardy of West Pelzer and Chief Tony Taylor, of Williamston, will be available for dunking it your eye is sharp and your arm is strong. For a donation, you can try your luck.

Chief Clardy came up with the idea, as well as several other ways to raise funds for the family of Christopher Browning, a ten year old student at Cedar Grove. Christopher, a third grader, was diagnosed with prenatal heart problems that have required three open heart surgeries already in his short life. Complications from the last surgery have left Christopher in need of a transplant.

His parents, Chris and Iris, told The Journal that he is on a transplant list and could receive a new heart at any time. When he does, they will have to relocate to Charleston for as long as three months. “Our thirteen year old son, Kaden, will have to stay here with family, but we will have to maintain both households. Because of the circumstances of Christopher’s condition and surgery, we can’t stay at the McDonald House. There’s too much chance of us catching something as simple as a cold. So we have to find a place to stay by ourselves while we are there,” said Iris Browning.

She explained that the medical insurance she and her husband have will cover the medical costs but nothing else. “We are very fortunate and very thankful for those who have already helped us. It is very hard waiting on that phone call, and not knowing when it will come. But the support we have had is amazing,” said Iris Browning.

It is to address those living expenses that Chief Clardy decided to get involved. “Christopher goes to school with my son, and when I heard about the situation, it just seemed the thing to do. We have raised four thousand dollars so far, but the realistic need is thirty thousand. So Tony and I will be at the Festival to try and raise some money for these folks. Christopher is such a brave kid you just want to help.”

There will be other opportunities to donate, with a silent auction of sports memorabilia and pro wrestling memorabilia. Chief Clardy has some ties with professional wrestling. “Jeff Jarrett, from TNA wrestling, has sent some items, and I’m hoping for some stuff from John Cena at the WWE,” said Clardy.

There will also be baked goods for sale. If you just can’t make it to the Festival, you can make a donation to the Browning Family Trust, a special account established at the SunTrust bank.