FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence RedWolves general manager Barbara Osborne perhaps put it best.
“The Florence 7 will always be in our hearts,” she proclaimed.
The Florence RedWolves’ First Responders Night on Saturday not only honored all local police, fire, EMS and dispatchers, but its game against Fayetteville was also dedicated to the Florence 7 who were involved in the Oct. 3 shooting. The shooting resulted in the deaths of Florence police Sgt. Terrence Carraway and Florence County Sheriff’s Office investigator Farrah Turner. Five others were wounded in the attack: Officer Brian Hart, Officer Travis Scott, Officer Scott Williamson, Deputy Arie Davis and investigator Sarah Miller. Members and families of the Florence 7 were recognized before the game and threw ceremonial first pitches.
But that was not the only thing the RedWolves did (and are doing) to honor the Florence 7. The team is coordinating several activities, among them a raffle with an original goal of raising $5,000.
Since the tickets started being sold, the funds have already surpassed the $5,000. Raffle tickets are still being sold through June 27.
Stickers were sold, and the RedWolves wore special jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit the Florence 7. The jerseys even have badges from each of the Florence 7 on the back.
A 50-50 raffle is benefiting the Florence 7, and hats from each Coastal Plain League team were atop the RedWolves’ dugout to show league-wide support. The Fayetteville Swampdogs’ offense even donated $500 to the Florence 7.
And two teams from the Francis Marion Recreation League were there Saturday as that league sold T-shirts to raise money for the Florence 7.
Among the parting words Osborne had Saturday were again among the most meaningful.
“We will honor you and will always keep you within our hearts,” Osborne said.
Florence RedWolves owner Kevin Barth then spoke to the crowd about what honoring the Florence 7 means to him.
“After the horrific events of October 3 last year, we realized we needed to do a lot more to thank the people who wake up every single morning to put their lives on the line for us.” Barth said. “These are our neighbors and our friends and our family. These people are not looking for glory, recognition or awards. They’re just doing their job, and their job is to keep every one of us safe.”