Fondren is coming together to honor a fallen police detective this weekend with an event spearheaded by one of the neighborhood’s popular restaurants. Rooster’s will host a benefit for the family of late Jackson Police Detective Eric Smith on Sunday from 11am – 5pm. Restaurateur Nathan Glenn says plates of food will be sold for $10 each with options like pulled pork, red beans and rice and chicken tenders.

The goal of the fundraiser is to sell 1,000 plates at $10 each in order to raise $10,000. “We are absorbing all the food costs and our employees are working for free,” Glenn says. “Every cent we take in will go to Detective Smith’s family.” Tickets are available now at Rooster’s.

Glenn is putting out the call to local restaurants to volunteer “food, time or energy.” He’s already heard from Derek Emerson, owner of Walker’s Drive-In, who will bring his crew and food along. “This is an open invitation to do what you can do,” Glenn tells us. “From sandwiches to salads to completed plates, we can use anything any restaurant is willing to bring. There’s no wrong thing at this point.” Glenn welcomes restaurateurs to bring with them their business’ pride. “If restaurateurs or their employees want to come work, they can wear their shirts or their uniforms.”

Already, many have stepped forward to offer goods and services. “Joe (Showah) at The Crawdad Hole is bringing crawfish, Byron (Knight of Sneaky Beans) is volunteering his stage and Chane is working on volunteer shirts,” Glenn explains. Artist William Goodman is said to be working on a piece to give to the family. Even world-renowned musicians have come forward. “Grady Champion got in touch through our contact at JPD and he’s bringing his band.” Champion will donate half of CD sales to the Smiths. With so much being added, Glenn says State Street will be blocked from Fondren Place to Mitchell to host what has turned into a festival of sorts.

The time frame to pull an event of this scale together is short. “We’re trying to get this together quickly, and everybody needs to sacrifice,” Glenn says. “When we need police they’re there for us, so we need to be there for them.” This is the second time Glenn and his family have hosted a fundraiser for a fallen officer and he tells us this will become an annual event for a fallen officer memorial fund. “This is something we have been talking about for years, and, unfortunately, this awful tragedy brought it back up.”

Glenn’s stepmother, Kathy Glenn, who can normally be found managing Rooster’s, will serve as the official event photographer and the contact point for volunteers. Call Kathy at 601.966.4991 or email kathyglenn1@yahoo.com to offer food, labor, time or money.

Nathan also mentions Kathy’s other very important role in planning for Sunday: social media specialist. He says: “This is what social media is made for. We’re already seeing thousands of hits on our Facebook and people are sharing it and getting excited to come together on Sunday.”

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