COVINGTON - As the family of murder victim Tim Clements is still reeling from his tragic death, several longtime friends have joined forces to help them financially.
A fundraising event is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Porterdale Bar and Grill, located at the intersection of Ga. Highway 81 and Crowell Road.
"We're doing this as a benefit for his widow and his two children," longtime friend of the family Kevin Hauck said. "With Father's Day Sunday, I can't even imagine what they're going through. Tim didn't have any life insurance and he was the sole provider for the family, so we're trying to help out in any way we can."
Clements, 53, was last seen by his family going to work at 6 a.m. Thursday. Friday afternoon two fishermen discovered his body in Snapping Shoals Creek off Ga. Highway 212 in Newton County and investigators were shortly able to confirm that his death was a homicide. Details of the murder have not been released, but four suspects have been arrested, one of whom was an employee at Clements' landscaping company.
Hauck recalled Clements as "a very fine individual."
"Tim enjoyed working. He was a dedicated worker and father," Hauck said. "He was actually my first boss. I worked for him doing landscaping. He about worked me to death, but he gave me a good appreciation for hard work."
Cousin Randy Moore of Oxford remembered Clements as a generous man.
"He'd give you the shirt off his back. He was the type of person if you needed something, he'd be there for you. Tim has always been that way," he said.
Moore also remarked on Clements' love for his wife and children and how proud he was of them.
An active member of Conyers American Legion Post 77, Moore said Clements included his children in Post activities, even allowing his 10-year-old daughter to work in the kitchen and help cook eggs and bacon at morning events.
Moore said Clements was "a health nut. He worked out at the gym all the time," he said.
As for hobbies, Moore said, "Tim didn't have time for hobbies. He was too busy taking his kids to band camps or on vacation. His kids have been to Europe. I can't tell you how many vacations they've been on," he said.
Also, on behalf of the family, Moore said he would like to say they've been "astounded" by the efforts the Newton County Sheriff's Office and GBI have put into this case.
"The police get a bad rap these days, but they need to be commended, especially Investigator Mark Hegwood and Investigator Sharron Stewart and the County Coroner Tommy Davis," he said. "They went through this in a matter of five days."
Moore and other family members will join Hauck and friend Dave Slicker, who owns Porterdale Bar and Grill, for the planned fundraising event Saturday. A portion of the night's proceeds from the bar will go to the Clements family, but also available will be hamburgers and hot dogs, which were donated by Holifield Farms. All proceeds from those sales will be going to the Clements family.
"We'd just like anyone in the community who would like to participate to stop by and give a donation. Or if anyone has anything they'd like to donate to be raffled off, those proceeds will go the Clements family, too," Hauck said.
Hauck said donations of raffle items can be brought to the bar or donors can notify him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he would make arrangements to have items picked up.
Slicker said, so far, Honey Creek Golf Course, Windy Hill Golf Course and The Oaks have promised donations, as well as Lowe's.
"We do a lot of business with the golf people, so they were the first people I called," Slicker said. "We'll be contacting restaurants and other area businesses and asking for donations."
Slicker said the raffle tickets were $5 each and went on sale Wednesday night.
"Mr. Clements was an acquaintance and he knew a lot of people. We want to do what we can to help folks out in the community. I know I'd appreciate it if I was in that situation," Slicker said.
A memorial service for Clements was held Wednesday afternoon. Clements, a native of Wayne County, Mich., leaves a wife, Barbara, and son Kyle, 16, and daughter Lindsay, 10.
A memorial fund has also been established by friends. Donations may be made to the Tim Clements Memorial Fund at Bank of America. A deposit can be made at any branch or by mail with checks payable to Tim Clements Memorial Fund, 863 Flat Shoals Road, Suite C225, Conyers GA 30094.
"We're still numb and it will be years before we get over this," Moore said. "We're going to miss Tim an awful lot."
Barbara Knowles can be reached at email@example.com.