Bob Doty has been overwhelmed by the community support after his son, York County Sheriff’s Office Det. Mike Doty, was killed in January.
Eight months later, York County continues to show up to support the family — in crowds.
The 809 Foundation, named after Mike Doty’s call number, hosted a cornhole tournament fundraiser Saturday at Main Street Fort Mill Jam.
The foundation provides help for substance abuse prevention and treatment, and youth mentoring in Doty’s memory.
“It’s a very worthy cause, and we appreciate the outpouring of support from all the neighbors and friends and family that come out and help the foundation do the work that it wants to do with the neighborhood and the community,” Bob Doty said.
Mike Doty was shot Jan. 16 in what police described as an ambush after officers responded to a domestic violence call near York. Three other officers were shot but recovered.
“The outpouring of support from the community has just been overwhelming,” Bob Doty said. “It wouldn’t be anything like it is without every member of the community and family members and everything. It’s just been a real gratifying experience for everybody. We really appreciate it.”
The foundation also had a dunking booth at the street festival Saturday, with several community leaders, including S.C. Rep. Tommy Pope (R-York), sitting in the booth.
“Law enforcement is a brotherhood,” he said. “My dad was in law enforcement, I was in law enforcement. It’s for a good cause, any time you can come help.”
Pope encouraged residents to get involved with the foundation.
“What happens often times when you have a tragedy like we’ve had, it’s easy to be involved early surrounding the tragedy,” Pope said. “Like losing a loved one, people come around. But sometimes they forget it’s ongoing. And I think what this is trying to do is carry on the work that Mike was doing while he was living.”
Sarah Hopfer, an 809 Foundation board member, said she knew Mike for about 15 years, through his twin brother, York County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Doty, who also took a turn in the dunking booth Saturday.
“I got involved in the 809 Foundation because after Mike’s passing we saw a definite gap in the community,” she said. “Because he did so much.”
She said Mike inspired her.
“He was truly just always a stand out guy who caught your eye and really made you pay attention, made you listen,” she said. “The things he did behind the scenes that he never spoke of really just grabbed you and made you want to be a better person.”
She hopes Mike’s legacy, through the 809 Foundation, will continue to inspire the community.
“Be kind and help someone who is in need,” she said. “You don’t have to get recognition for it, just make sure that you’re a better person tomorrow than you were today, through being kind and helping people.”