First Morgan County Blue Lives Matter 5K Held
BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV - On July 29, over 70 people participated in the first Blue Lives Matter 5K in Berkeley Springs. The fundraising event was to create the non-profit Morgan County Officers Down Memorial Fund, a scholarship fund for students desiring to pursue a career in law enforcement.
The route was from Coldwell Banker on South Washington Street, to Concord Avenue and the track at Widmyer Elementary, and back to Coldwell Banker. The event honored Morgan County law enforcement officers Trooper Charles Johnson and Trooper Frist Class Thomas Hercules, West Virginia State Police troopers who were killed in the line of duty in 1977, and Berkeley Springs Police Department K-9 Fritzi, a local police dog who died in service. A portion of U.S. 522 was renamed in honor of Johnson and Hercules in 2014. Two signs show the section of road from Johnson Mill Road to Winchester Grade Road.
Sheriff Bohrer said, “As I watched the folks come to participate and as we stood in front of the sign, I had many thoughts and feelings. I will never forget that dreadful day in 1977, but I had to reflect on all the good things that have happened since. I will never forget my friends and brother officers who gave their all and I realized today I am not alone.”
The event was the idea of 2017 Berkeley Springs High School graduate Chaston Clatterbuck. Clatterbuck is an emergency telecommunications dispatcher at Morgan County 911 and firefighter with Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Co.
Clatterbuck said, “I have always respected and thought highly of law enforcement and one day plan to join the brave men and women of law enforcement here in Morgan County. Being a recent graduate of Berkeley Springs High school, I realized there is slim to none scholarships for graduates pursuing a career in law enforcement. As I was driving home one evening I passed the memorial sign of Trooper Hercules and Johnson, and I got the idea of including the troopers and a Berkeley Springs fallen K9 in the idea. I thought if there was some way we could have a day where we remember our local heroes and support new ones as they pursue their dreams, it would be perfect, because a hero remembered never dies.”
Clatterbuck enlisted the help of Bohrer, co-worker Hunter Willey, and Nick Sipe. They tried out the route several times, and set up the non-profit through City National Bank.
He said, “I can’t explain enough all the effort that went into this project, or the many nights Hunter and I stayed up working on T shirt ideas and planning the course out, ordering BIB numbers, calling businesses and walking the course. If it wasn’t for all the volunteer race officials and Hunter and K.C., this event wouldn’t have been possible. The thing that gets me is it’s crazy how just an idea can go so far when you put work in. I want this to also be a message to teenagers, young adults and recent graduates: it never hurts to do something good for others. I am glad there was such a great turnout. We have many more projects planned throughout the year. We also have talked about purchasing something in memory of the fallen BSPD K9.”
Bohrer said the people who came out on a rainy day to participate and give funds made him proud of the community. To his fellow officers, Bohrer said, “Like our departed brothers before us I know each of you do, and will step up to the plate each and every day to run into harm’s way to protect the people we serve when others run away.”
Clatterbuck thanked everyone for coming out, the sponsors and volunteers. He said, “I’m looking forward to next year.”
The event was sponsored by many local businesses and the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club. Overall winners of the 5K race were: First place- Zac Simmons (16:34), Second place- Logan Heironimus (18:36), Third place- Chris Stotler.
To donate, send to P.O. BOX 132, Berkeley Springs WV 25411, or stop by City National Bank.