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Final push to send entire honor guard to honor fallen Clay County deputy

Clay County Deputy Ben Zirbel to be honored on wall in Washington

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The Clay County Sheriff's Office made its final push Tuesday night to try to raise enough funds to send the department's entire Honor Guard to Washington next month to honor fallen Deputy Ben Zirbel.

Zirbel was on duty as a motorcycle officer in August when he was hit by a vehicle at an intersection on Blanding Boulevard and died from his injuries. 

Zirbel will be honored for his service when his name is added to the national police memorial wall in Washington, D.C., in May. Typically, only a few members of the Sheriff's Office Honor Guard would attend the ceremony, but the department has been raising funds for months in the hopes of sending the entire unit.

In late March, the Sheriff's Office said it was two-thirds of the way toward its $30,000 goal, and a memorial ride raised an additional $6,000 when hundreds of bikers registered.

The Sheriff's Office held another fundraiser from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at V Pizza on County Road 220 in Fleming Island.

The restaurant will donate 10% of the proceeds from food to the Fraternal Order of Police to help fund the trip. 

The department also had a 50/50 raffle during Tuesday's event.

Any extra money raised over the department's goal will go toward starting a memorial foundation for ill or fallen Clay County officers.

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