Enjoying the CLEAC Cookout

(Ed. Note – Last Saturday the Community Law Enforcement Appreciation Committee (CLEAC) sponsored a cook out for citizens and children of Horry County with law enforcement personnel. Below is an account of the day as witnessed by Jon Bonsignor, one of the co-chairs of the event.)

By Jon Bonsignor

Let me give you a first-hand account of the fabulous Saturday we had at the Cook-Out themed “Connecting Cops, Kids and the Community” sponsored by CLEAC.

Over 500 guests from the communities, Sheriff & Police Officers, Fire Fighters and First Responders enjoyed thrill of the kids interacting, with the Fire-Sheriff-Police and politicians, at the magnificent North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex.

Everyone had a fun time and played sports and games assembled by the efficient personnel staff from the NMB Recreation department. Sheriff Phil Thompson, with an assist from Chief Deputy Sheriff Tom Fox at their booth, greeting everyone who came by plus the Sheriff’s staff handed out silver Junior Sheriff badges to the many kids who came by to say ” Hi Sheriff”.

Horry Police Deputy Chief Maurice Jones and Capt Bob Carr went around greeting and getting to know the people of the community and children. Carr went one step further throwing and competing with the kids at bean ball, and fishing at a simulator provided by DHEC.

Public safety Director Jay Fernandez standing by the new Fire Rig, with its ladder soaring high above the truck, looked quite happy at the many people who came by to where he greeted them with a big smile. Director Jay and the Fire personnel guided the kids to the Fire truck to blare the fire siren, shoot the water cannon,  receive red fire hats, and run through water sprinklers.

The Myrtle Beach P D brought along their K-9 unit and SWAT team..naturally the kids and adults adored the German Shepard, a big gorgeous looking dog. The Shepard was calm, friendly and beautiful and was unfazed by the petting, kisses and of the huge attention it was getting.

The weather was perfect for a cook-out. There were plenty of games, sports activities. The looks on the happy faces of the kids showed their delight.

What was as joyful was to see Chairman Mark Lazarus playing football with the young future stars, with Councilman Harold Worley as an impartial spectator looking at the action. After a good 10 minutes work out, Mark came out of the competitive game huffing and puffing, perspiring profusely, saying to me he would have rather been Harold, standing on the side line, cool and calm. If you wanted to see a person completely out of breath it was Lazarus; however Mark is a specimen of an excellent athlete for his young age. Humph.

It was good to see some elected and other public officials join us such as, S C Rep Russell Fry, H C Coroner Robert Edge, Sheriff Thompson, Chief Deputy Sheriff Fox, Community Liaison Tom Keegan Aide to Congressman Tom Rice and Police Chief Reggie Gosnell from Conway. Connecting Cops-Kid-Community was an event of good will, and it surely was nice to see such supportive leaders..

The weather held up wonderfully.. yes it was hot, but not too hot, it didn’t rain until the event was over after 3 PM. The food of hot dogs, hamburgers and smooth quenching soft drinks and the many volunteers were outstanding.

The Committee of the Connecting Cops Kids and the Community, Judge Dennis Salerno, Fred Nesta, Frank Baldari, Paul Juliano, Capt Bob Carr, Joe Scullion, Rev George Swift, Rev Tim McCray and Nick Dou, deserves a big “Thank you” for working tirelessly to put the event together.

All 500 T-Shirts were given out to the attendees. We want to acknowledge the donations made for the T-Shirts from Angelo’s Steak & Pasta Restaurant, Rick Elliott – Elliott Real Estate & Rental Agency, The Founders Group, M B Chamber of Commerce, Sheriff Thompson, Coroner Robert Edge, SOI Lodge 2868 and South Strand Republican Club.

Photo Credit: JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews

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