"Big Steve" run pays it forward - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

"Big Steve" run pays it forward

Left to right: Estee Wood, Gene Sutton and Bonnie Stanfill Left to right: Estee Wood, Gene Sutton and Bonnie Stanfill


Engines revved, shades on and the lines form, this isn't a race, its a motorcycle run for Steve Sutton, a Lee County marine who lost his life in 2012. 

This this the second year the town of Leesburg has celebrated the life of Sutton, a fallen hero.

"It's still a reminder that we have more troops and you've got to keep supporting everybody, ' volunteer Estee Woods said.

For friends, the young marine was known as "Big Steve," a 6'8, 280 pound guy who touched the hearts of many. Family members say they hope to raise $8,000 to support education and charities. 

Organizers put together a drawing and a silent auction featuring an array of special items, including a personal gifts from Leesburg star Luke Bryan. 

Family members say even businesses have joined the cause by donating.

"Its all about paying it forward, the community has been awesome ever since Steve died so we just want to pay it back." 

The last two years have been a struggle for Gene Sutton but he believes its the people of southwest Georgia that have helped pull him though. 

"I just miss him (I'm sure a lot of people around here feel the exact same way) right, they have all come up to me and hug me, they're all with me."

Reminding him, he's not alone, and has a town full of supporters. 

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