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Cox fundraiser runs on despite pandemic

Cox fundraiser runs on despite pandemic

SUBMITTED PHOTO
Chillicothe D.A.R.E. police officer Larry Cox was killed while off duty chasing a robbery suspect in 2005. An annual fundraiser in his honor raises funds for Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers.

By AMBER GINTER
Southern Ohio Today

On April 21, 2005, Larry Randolph Cox was shot and killed while off duty chasing a robbery suspect on foot.

Since the tragic event, Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers, in conjunction with Cox’s family, friends, and co-workers, arranged for the inaugural Turkey Trot later that year. Fifteen years later, the Chillicothe community remembers Cox as vividly as ever and the 16th annual Larry R. Cox Turkey Trot will transform into a fund drive as a result of COVID.

The annual fundraiser helps generate funds for Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers, which pays those offering anonymous tips that aid in the arrest and conviction of any offenders.

Sonnie Reed, Vice President of Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers, explains the historical importance of the event.

“Since Cox’s passing in 2005, the community has banded together to honor quite a man. As a great runner, role model, and teacher for our kids under the DARE program, we started the ‘Turkey Trot’ to keep his memory alive through a memorandum,” Reed said. “The running shoes that Larry was wearing during his death are then carried every year by a different friend or family member. It has become quite an honor to start and carry the shoes of such a great man. His mother, Joy Cox, chooses who is to wear the shoes, and we have had quite a list for years to come.”

Although the 2020 Turkey Trot has been replaced with a fund drive, Reed said the 16th version is as poignant as the first one that occurred in 2005.

“In the year 2020, nothing is surprising, so we decided to cancel to keep up with social distancing and the CDC rules. Traditionally, we created a Thanksgiving Day Race in honor of our friend, an avid runner himself, that has since become a family tradition to meet in the city park rain, sleet, snow, or hail,” Reed said. “With or without the race, however, his life and the contribution others can make to stopping crime cases like Cox’s from happening matter.”

According to Reed, donations will be used to ensure sufficient funds are available for essential tips.

Creating greater awareness of Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers, donations will also be used to involve youth in the Student Crime Stoppers Program, develop workshops for self-defense and protection, and honor a fallen man who led by example.  

“For those who want to help, we have set up PayPal on our Facebook page, or checks can be sent to SOCS 193 E. Main St. Chillicothe, Ohio 45601,” Reed said. 

Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers provides a tip hotline for 12 counties in Southern Ohio – Jackson, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Adams, Athens, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Lawrence, Meigs and Vinton.

The number is (740) 773-TIPS (8477).

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