ECB Publishing, Inc.
On the weekend of April 4-6, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) teamed up with Evil Twin Farms and Carrie Ann & Co. in order to host the second annual Sheriff David Hobbs Memorial Barrel Race weekend.
The three days of festivities included a karaoke night at Carrie Ann's, a Boots and Badges Sponsor Party at Willow Pond Plantation, and the event's crown jewel, a memorial barrel race at Evil Twin Farms.
This is the second year that the memorial event has been hosted, all with the purpose to raise funds for the Jefferson Senior Citizens Center (JSCC) under the name and legacy of the late and beloved Sheriff David Hobbs.
For 13 years, Sheriff Hobbs served the people of Jefferson County as the elected sheriff, with an additional seven years as a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol, eight years as a Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy and six years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
In 2017, Sheriff Hobbs (who had been battling cancer) passed away after developing pneumonia and enduring a problem with his cancer medications.
With the Sheriff's seat left empty following Sheriff Hobbs' death, then-Governor Rick Scott appointed Alfred Mac McNeill to the title of Jefferson County Sheriff.
Sheriff McNeill would later go on to win the 2018 election and continue his service to the citizens of Jefferson County as their sheriff.
When first taking office following Gov. Scott's appointing, Sheriff McNeill was informed by members of his staff that various charity events would need to be held, as the JCSO has long been a community supporter and sponsor.
As a newcomer to Jefferson County as well as the sheriff's office itself, McNeill questioned staff members at the agency regarding the causes and organizations that had been supported strongly by Sheriff Hobbs.
“I asked Cricket Edwards,” said Sheriff McNeill. “She told me that the senior citizens center was where his heart was and I said 'then thats the legacy we need to follow, for him.'”
Last year, in 2018, the sheriff's office teamed up with local ranch – Evil Twin Farms and it's owner, Sherri Dean, to host the first-ever Sheriff David Hobbs Memorial Barrel Race.
All funds gathered from the race would go towards the financially-struggling senior center.
The event garnered extreme success, eventually spilling over into an additional two events and producing an enormous donation to the senior center.
So it was with great pride and excitement that the JCSO was able to announce that they would be bringing the event back a the second year in 2019.
The memorial barrel race, sponsor party and karaoke night again garnered community support throughout the April 4-6 weekend and on Friday, May 3, Sheriff Mac McNeill and JCSO support staff visited the senior center in order to present the final check to the JSCC.
Sheriff McNeill first thanked Sherri Dean for offering her property and primarily coordinating the barrel race; Jerry Byrd, the visiting singing cowboy who sang, entertained and served as barrel race announcer during the weekend's events; as well as Carrie Ann & Company for their dedicating hosting during the weekend.
And finally, he thanked the JCSO staff themselves, as they put in the long hours into planning, organizing and orchestrating the weekend fundraising events.
“Our staff puts a lot of time and effort into making this possible,” Sheriff McNeill said.
However, before unveiling the check, McNeill had one more person to offer thanks to for the success of the event – Sheriff Hobbs himself.
“The main person to thank is Sheriff Hobbs,” said McNeill. “His legacy and his name is what brings people out and makes people contribute to all this.”
Without further ado, Sheriff McNeill and the JCSO staff handed over the check, totaling $10,000 to JSCC Treasurer Paul Michael.
After the applause and congratulations had died down, Michael offered a few words of his own, mostly thanking all those who had put in the time to make this donation possible.
“A huge effort goes into this,” Michael declared. “We are not among the most flush senior centers in the state, so this is really significant to us.”
According to JSCC Fiscal Officer Sylvia Sheffield, the donated funds will be used to support the activities, programs and services that are offered the the senior center's in-house and home-bound clients.
Sheriff McNeill also assured that this won't be the last check presented to the senior center - “This is something we do annually now,” concluded McNeill. “We're going to try to keep doing it to raise money.”