PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - On Saturday, family, friends and members of the Gulfport Police Department will say their final goodbyes to Davy Kirkland. The retired sergeant passed away over the weekend after battling cancer.
A Pass Christian business owner is organizing a fundraiser to help the Kirkland family. The benefit has received an outpouring of support.
Brandon Necaise owns Brandon's ATV Services in Pass Christian. The ATVs helped connect him to Sgt. Kirkland.
Through family and friends, Necaise got to know Officer Kirkland and learned of his battle with colon cancer. Over the past five months, Necaise sometimes drove the retired sergeant to a Perkinston park to watch the ATV and mud truck races.
"He said he would like to go to Red Creek and just relax and watch, because he doesn't get to do much. He'd just sit back and watch and enjoy himself," said Necaise.
"He wasn't able to stay long because it was hot, but he did get to experience something he never did before."
When Necaise heard that Officer Kirkland had passed away over the weekend, he immediately went to work organizing a Memorial Mud Run at Red Creek Off-Road.
"We're selling T-shirts. They're going to be $15 a piece. We're also going to be selling raffle tickets for a 125cc kid ATV. We got as of right now 14 sponsors, which are great. We've never had this many sponsors and outpouring of respect for him also."
There is another reason why Necaise is so passionate about the benefit. He's also a Gulfport firefighter.
"We're all a brotherhood. I mean all law enforcement, fire, police, security, I mean, we're all brothers and we all take care of each other."
He is hoping the community will reach out to help the Kirkland family.
"With five children and leaving behind a wife, I felt it was our job in the community to raise money for the families that need it. It's a real great cause, and you never know when you may need help also."
"I've already got word back from his wife and she cannot believe what has happened in just two weeks to help the family. She's very grateful for it. I love it. That's what I do, being a fireman, helping others."
The Memorial Ride is on Thanksgiving weekend, from November 29 to December 1. That is next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Red Creek Off-Road in Perkinston. A portion of the gate fees, and proceeds from the raffle, T-shirts, drinks and donations will help the Kirkland family with medical expenses.