Benefit to support injured detective
Detective's partner killed during meth lab raid last month
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – The Clay County community is giving back to a man who gave so much.
A benefit for Detective Matt Hanlin and his family was held Monday night, a little more than one month after his partner, Detective David White, was killed during a meth lab raid.
"I'd just like to thank the community for their support," Hanlin said at the benefit. "It's overwhelming when something tragic like this happens that the community cares that much to come together. Their prayers and thoughts, it's been a good thing."
Hanlin was also shot during that raid in Middleburg and needed surgery. His medical bills are covered and he's getting his usual pay, but there's still a lot more that he needs and could use the support of the community.
"While he is recovering, he is on light duty, so he can't work his overtime and off-duty jobs," Sheriff Rick Beseler said. "And you know, deputies rely on that extra income to make their monthly bill payments."
Beseler said everyone's trying to support the community's hero during this difficult time.
"The department has really rallied around," he said. "We're gathering money, we're doing payroll reductions, we're collecting money within the agency. All his fellow deputies are stepping up to try help him close that gap."
That's also where Skate Station has stepped in to try to help. The owners, along with those from other local businesses, have put together a fundraiser to help Hanlin make ends meet.
"When a member of this community suffers a tragedy, Skate Station tends to want to step up and attempt to do the best we can at helping," Skate Station general manager Kevin Schad.
For just an $8 donation Monday night from 6 to 9, people could help Hanlin and have free reign over the funpark on Blanding Boulevard in Orange Park.
"We're going to be skating, there's going to be miniature golf, rock climbing, a playground for the kids, miniature golf, entertainment," Schad said.
He said it's the least he could do.
"It's for us to give back to someone who pretty much dedicates his life to the community," Schad said.
About 250 people attended the fundraiser, which brought in about $2,000.
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