In the name of one local fallen hero, a group of Nash County residents are commemorating the ultimate sacrifice paid by another local hero.
The Trooper Bobby Gene DeMuth Jr. Memorial Coin was commissioned by the Warren “Sneak” Lewis Law Enforcement Foundation to honor the 12-year veteran of the N.C. Highway Patrol who was struck and killed by a fleeing suspect on Sept. 8, 2012.
“We partnered with Legacy Coins, a local company in Nashville, to assist us with the design and consulted with the DeMuth family to incorporate any wishes they had for the coin,” Nash County sheriff’s Lt. Dennis Wooten said. “We wanted this coin to be a representation of Gene and what he stood for throughout his law enforcement career.”
The front of the coin bears the badge of the Highway Patrol in front of a thin blue line to represent law enforcement surrounded by DeMuth’s name and end-of-watch date.
The back of the coin has DeMuth’s call sign, C145, along with the Highway Patrol logo and the quote, “A Hero Remembered, Never Dies.”
“Our foundation is continuously looking for ways we can affect our community in a positive way and we thought of doing a challenge coin to honor Gene,” Wooten said. “We had the idea of using it to support other organizations that affect our community in a positive way, so the proceeds of the coin sales will benefit the local FOP Wives Auxiliary and the N.C. State Highway Patrol Troop C Wives Auxiliary.”
In addition to the coin sales, the foundation’s third annual dinner and silent auction will be from 5 to 8 p.m. April 5 in the Business & Industry Center at Nash Community College.
“With the community’s generosity, we are able provide scholarships to area high school seniors and provide financial support to public safety workers and their families that are in need during times of distress,” Wooten said. “Most importantly, that generosity allows Sneak and his memory to remain a fixture in our community.”
Nearly $10,000 has been given in support to 22 families of emergency responders as they deal with deaths or chronic illnesses.
Another $4,000 in scholarships has been awarded to local students seeking careers in law enforcement, the fire service, the medical field or teaching.
“Most importantly at the dinner, we will be presenting $10,000 in scholarships – $2,000 each – to five deserving Nash County high school seniors,” Wooten said.
Tickets are $20 each and include a dinner from Parker’s Barbecue.
“This is an opportunity for those who knew Sneak and those who didn’t know him personally, to gather and remember who he was and the commitment he had for this community,” Wooten said. “With the support of the business community who donated items for the silent auction, this is a great event to increase the awareness of our foundation within the community and spread the message of what we stand for and what we do.”