HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A local restaurant follows through on its promise to donate 15 percent of one day of sales to to help the family of officer Billy Clardy III. The Huntsville Police officer was shot and killed December 6, 2019. Today, one of his favorite restaurants honored him and his service.
It’s more than a check
A check to the Clardy family represents more than what it’s worth. It represents a community coming together for a fallen officer.
“The day before this happened he got the number one Farm Burger,” said Farm Burger’s general manager Tara Ledwell. It was officer Billy Clardy’s number one order. “It must have been,” she said. “He liked it.”
Ledwell said officer Clardy ate at Farm Burger several times a week. So 12 days after he was shot and killed in the line of duty, the restaurant promised 15 percent of it’s sales to help his family.
“It was just overwhelming in how many people wanted to give,” said Ledwell. That 15% turned into 1,850 dollars – now in the hands of the Huntsville Police Citizens Foundation who’ll pass it on to the Clardy family.
Your world stops
“Their world just kind of stopped from their day to day,” said Leslie Freeman. She’s the program’s director. “You know – cell phone bills still need to be paid, utility bills.”
Freeman said families of fallen officers deal with financial stress. She said, “Benefits can take a few months to even a year up to get to the family. So it’s not instantaneous.”
Freeman knows from experience.
You’re in shock
“You’re in shock,” said Freeman “You don’t believe it, then it hits you and then you’re just kind of numb for a while.”
Her husband was killed in the line of duty in 2007. Officer Eric Freeman was shot in the head during a traffic stop.
“He was responding to a traffic stop for a DUI – just for a fender bender,” said Freeman, but the foundation and Huntsville PD was there to help her family.
“Understanding that someone else has been in their shoes [the Clardy family] I’m hoping is a help,” said Freeman.
The community has your back
“We just wanted to come together as a community and we wanted to show that businesses do care,” Ledwell said.
Freeman said the Billy Clardy Memorial Fund at Redstone Federal Credit Union will close in another month, but the Huntsville Police Citizens Foundation will continue to accept donations for Clardy’s family.