KODAK, Tenn. (WATE) — East Tennessee law enforcement, first responders and fire fighters came together at Smokies Stadium to participate in a softball tournament. It was all in support of Gatlinburg Police officer Robert Frederick who lost his daughter, father-in-law and home in a fire.
Officer Frederick was also injured in the fire and hospitalized for a short time after. He has since been released from the hospital. The city of Gatlinburg says he returned to light duty on July 19.
The softball tournament was organized by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, with hopes of raising money for the family to cover any expenses incurred since the fire.
The community has already raised nearly $12,000 for the family according to Jefferson County task force officer Jeremy Nash.
“A lot of times in our line of work, being a first responder whether it’s paramedic, law enforcement, firefighter, we get to serve people, but we don’t have an opportunity to serve one another,” Nash said. “So this kind of strikes at the heart, at the core of who we are, getting to serve on of our own and getting to give back to them and make a difference in their life.
“We can’t change the situation that happened, and it’s not about that, it’s not about us getting recognition for it, but its about us being a bridge for them to help them get through a serious incident.”
This was a free event, but raffle tickets were sold at the door, and a portion of the proceeds from vendors went back to the family.