HAZARD—This year’s Fourth of July weekend in Hazard was full of more than just fireworks and family get-togethers as hundreds participated in a number of charity events to help a local police officer fighting for his life.
The Hazard Police Department (HPD) hosted the first annual 5-K Foot Pursuit on Thursday, July 3, as one of many ways to help raise funds for Lt Paul Campbell.
The Herald reported earlier this year that the 31-year-old Campbell was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, and recently underwent surgery to treat the disease.
“A lot of people look at having cancer as being the end of the world, but the truth is, it’s a blessing. Because during this I’ve got to see love pour out from people that I never knew cared about me at all. And to see that is unbelievable,” Campbell told the Herald in May. “I’m extremely grateful for everyone’s support and prayers, I don’t even have words to describe it. A big thank you to everyone.”
The 5-K started at 9 p.m. at the Hazard City Hall with nearly 300 registered runners and walkers, and wound around the downtown area. Though Campbell could not make it to the event since he was recovering from surgery, Chief of Police Minor Allen called Campbell and let him start the race by holding a microphone to the phone.
According to the HPD, just under $6,000 was raised from the race. The fastest male and femal runners were honored by being named as a Duke and a Duchess of Hazard.
Rat rods, street rods, race cars, fire trucks, and motorcycles were just some of the vehicles that lined Main Street on Friday afternoon for the first annual Rock-n-Rods-n-Bikes car show—yet another event hosted by the HPD over the weekend as a way to help Campbell.
The event started at 4 p.m. and lasted until the city’s fireworks show was going to start. Trophies were given to the car that was best in show and for the car that got the most applause and kicked up the most smoke during the burnout challenge at the end of the day.
Nearly $3,500 was made during the car show on Friday, Deputy Chief Joe Engle said.
Engle went on to say that he had been in contact with Campbell recently, who was doing “as well as he could be” after his surgery, and expressed his thanks to everyone who has been able to help since Campbell announced his diagnosis.
Engle said that as of Tuesday, more than $25,000 had been raised for Campbell and his family, and more will be raised in the near future with a motorcycle ride scheduled for July 12.
The Charity Ride for Lieutenant Paul Campbell will begin at 11 a.m., with registration opening at 9:30 a.m. Riders will be asked to pay $20 to register, with an additional charge of $5 per rider. The ride will travel from Hazard, starting at the amphitheater by the Hazard City Hall, to the Harley Davidson Shop in Pikeville. Dinner will be provided in Hazard after the riders return.
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.