‘It’s showing love’: Clark County continues outpouring of support for family of fallen deputy

Clark County Sheriff's Office employees stand with a wood carving created to honor Deputy Matt Yates Thursday evening. Photo provided by Dean Blair.

Combined ShapeCaption
Clark County Sheriff's Office employees stand with a wood carving created to honor Deputy Matt Yates Thursday evening. Photo provided by Dean Blair.

Clark County organizations, businesses and community members continue to raise funds for the family of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was killed in the shooting at Harmony Estates Mobile Home Park on Sunday.

Matthew Yates, 41, was killed in the line of duty on Sunday following a shooting at a mobile home park in Harmony Twp. outside Springfield. The father of three children with his wife was a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.

Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett said the outpouring of public support for the deputy and his family has been humbling.

“Calls, notes, flowers left, donations to the family and just a handshake and ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ from someone in the public brings us to tears every time,” she said.

The Clark County Fair each year brings in woodcarvers to craft carvings the fairgrounds sell. This year, the fair board asked artist Roark Phillips to craft a carving of a police flag with a sheriff’s badge popping from it. The carving included Yates’ name and his unit number, Unit 60.

Instead of auctioning off the carving, the fair board decided to accept donations during a community benefit auction and give the carving to Yates’ family. Roughly $32,000 was pledged on Thursday for the family.

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After continuing to collect funds for the family Friday morning, the fair board has raised $40,000 for the deputy’s family, according to Clark County Fair executive director Dean Blair.

Combined ShapeCaption
Clark County Sheriff's Office employees stand with a wood carving created to honor Deputy Matt Yates Thursday evening. Photo provided by Dean Blair.

Clark County Sheriff's Office employees stand with a wood carving created to honor Deputy Matt Yates Thursday evening. Photo provided by Dean Blair.

Combined ShapeCaption
Clark County Sheriff's Office employees stand with a wood carving created to honor Deputy Matt Yates Thursday evening. Photo provided by Dean Blair.

“It’s showing love, it’s showing support,” said Blair. “We all knew Matt Yates out here. He always worked fair duty. He was just a big teddy bear, and the sheriff’s office is just such great friends to us.”

Springfield businesses are also coordinating days where proceeds will go to the deputy’s family.

  • Scout’s Cafe on Moorefield Road: 100%of the day’s proceeds on Saturday
  • Un Mundo Cafe on South Fountain Avenue: 100% of the day’s proceeds on Monday
  • Coffee Expressions on North Plum Street: 100% of the day’s proceeds on Tuesday
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The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has organized a GoFundMe to raise money for the Yates family. As of Friday afternoon, it has raised more than $46,000.

Yates was survived by his wife, Tracy, his mother, Lisa Yates, and father, Eugene (Felicia) Yates, who served with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for 34 years; mother-in-law, Debra Reed; daughter A’kaylehana; two sons, Anthony (Kristina) Reed, and Andrew Reed; two sisters, Lisa McPherson, and Rochelle (Clarence) Smith; four brothers, Martin Yates, Anthony (Holly) Jeffrey, Stephen Humphrey, and Walter Ray; brothers-in-law, Christopher Reed, and Timothy (Heather) Reed; sister-in-law, Theresa (Sam) Reed, as well as a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and numerous friends, according to his obituary.

Yates’ funeral visitation is 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the First Christian Church at 3638 Middle Urbana Road. His funeral service is at noon Monday at the church, with burial to follow at Ferncliff Cemetery, according to Littleton and Rue Funeral Home. Clark County offices are closing on Monday in recognition of the funeral service.

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