Special Photo. Lady Antebellum member Hillary Scott signs a guitar the group donated to raise funds for the Brian Mahaffey Memorial Fund as part of Kicks 101.5-FM's "Guitar Hero" promotion. Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington accepted the guitar during an interview with the radio station on Monday.
CONYERS -- Country music group Lady Antebellum donated an autographed acoustic guitar Monday to go toward helping the family of slain Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Investigator Brian Mahaffey.
The Grammy and Country Music Association award-winning trio provided the guitar to WKHX-FM, Kicks 101.5 FM, as part of the radio station's "Guitar Hero" promotion where country music performers autograph a guitar, which is then donated to a nonprofit group or effort to raise money.
The guitar was presented to Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington during a telephone interview that was broadcast during Monday's "Cadillac and Dallas" morning show.
"They asked during the interview out of all of this tragedy what were the positives, and I told them what we've seen with the community's response to support the family has been overwhelming," Wigington said. "Everyone here came together from standing on the side of the road for the funeral to businesses performing fundraising events for the family. It's been amazing."
Plans for the guitar were not complete, said Wigington, who is out of town until Wednesday. All proceeds were targeted for The Brian Mahaffey Memorial Fund c/o Georgia Federal Credit Union, 1381 Milstead Ave., in Conyers.
Mahaffey, 28, was shot and killed May 8, in the line of duty while he and other investigators in the RCSO Narcotics and Vice Unit served an arrest warrant at a house off Honey Creek Road.
Mahaffey was a lifelong Conyers resident and joined the RCSO in 2005. He started out as a detention deputy in the jail, then progressed to join the Uniform Patrol Division. Mahaffey became an investigator with the Narcotics and Vice Unit in 2009.
Mahaffey is survived by his wife, Diana, a 2-year-old son, Trenton, and an almost 3-month-old daughter, Anniston.
During the Porterdale Police Department's "We Ride to Provide" motorcycle ride Saturday, Mahaffey was honored as part of Police Officers Memorial Day.
Mahaffey's widow and parents attended the event, which included flags being flown at half-staff, a 21-gun salute presented by American Legion Post 77 from Conyers, and a performance of "Taps" by Newton High School band director Jason Smith.
"We raised a little over $500 and gave it to his wife," event organizer Holly Cripps said. "The totals are not final and funds are still coming in. We gave her $300, a portion of our ride money from the Porterdale Police Department. She is a sweet young lady who was so appreciative. It's just so sad and she's so young."
Cripps said they presented Mahaffey's widow with a black and blue police flag and his mother with an American flag that flew on one of the lead bikes in the motorcade.
PPD Sgt. Jason Cripps said Mahaffey's father was loaned a motorcycle from the Harley-Davidson dealership in Conyers. He rode in the motorcade as well as several patrol units from the RCSO.
"It was just an incredible day," Jason Cripps said. "I want to say thank you to all the volunteers. There were so many I can't even begin to name them, but especially to Jason Smith and the American Legion Post 77 Honor Guard."
Several businesses in the Honey Creek area have pledged to donate a portion of their earnings this Saturday to the Mahaffey fund.
Sprouts and Garden, a fashion consignment store located at the shopping center between Pizza Hut and Ingles, will donate 100 percent of its earnings that day, said store owner Kelley Collins. The store will also have general donation buckets.
Alonzo Hill of Regency Barber Shop and Salon, Conyers Discount Caskets owner Richard Leverington and other businesses are showing support to local police and law enforcement by displaying black and blue ribbons.
General donations and proceeds from the sale of the $10 ribbons are also going to a fund for Mahaffey's children.
Tavas Pizza at the corner of Ga. Highway 20 and Oglesby Bridge Road in Rockdale County in the Magnet community will donate a portion of sales from dine-in and carryout orders today and Wednesday.
For more information, visit the Deputy Brian Mahaffey Memorial Page on Facebook or Kicks 101.5-FM Facebook page.