A college student and resident of Barefoot Resort neighborhood is organizing a 1.78-mile run or walk event in memory of Sgt. Gordon William Best, who died while responding to a call in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 1. Best’s badge number was 178.
The event is scheduled for the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex at 8 a.m. on Jan. 30.
Clayton Hucks, a 20 year-old Middlebury College junior who studies chemistry said he organized the event for a couple of reasons.
“The first is my attempt to create some sort of unity,” Hucks said. “Our world and country is so divided right now, I want to bring people of all backgrounds and beliefs to support Sgt. Best.”
Just four hours into New Year's Day, North Myrtle Beach police Sgt. Gordon William Best “gav…
The other reason is more personal.
Hucks said he has several close family friends who are in law enforcement, including a South Carolina state trooper and a detective in New York. Hucks also plans to go into law enforcement.
Hucks said he’s wanted to be a police officer since he was 6 years-old, and Best’s death while responding to a call in his area hit home. If possible, he said he’d like to join the North Myrtle Beach police force after graduation.
“I feel like it’s my calling,” Hucks said. “I grew up in a family that taught me to be respectful and stand by. Once I was older, I started thinking about my future, and to this day, it’s still the only way I see living: protecting and serving the community where I live. It’s the way I see myself being happy and living the life I want to live.”
Hucks encourages those who want to run or walk during the event to carry American flags or thin blue line flags.
Hucks said he’ll be taking donations for Sgt. Best’s family, preferably in the form of gift cards to stores and gas stations, and that they’ll be given to the family through a North Myrtle Beach police officer who’s acting as a liaison for the family.
To give cash directly to the family, click here to see an online fundraiser.
Hucks said chemistry and calculus always interested him in high school. He said he’d like to get a job in a lab, possibly doing forensic law enforcement, after retirement.
City spokesperson Pat Dowling said the event, which needed approval from the Department of Commerce due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be limited to 500 runners, but people won't be allowed to sit and watch.
"You come and run and leave," he said.