LAKE PARK, GA (WALB) - Around 50 people turned out for the TCT7 benefit dinner at the Lowndes County 4H Club in honor of James Eunice Saturday night ahead of the 3rd annual TCT7 swim on Sunday.
Friday, as John and Tammy Eunice prepared for a swimming event at Long Pond in Lake Park to honor their son James, they were excited to continue giving back to the community three years after their son's death.
"Through this type of fundraiser and others throughout the year," said John Eunice, James's father, "we've been blessed to be able to give back to the community some $200,000 in a variety of ways."
James was duck hunting on Ocean Pond in Lake Park on January 15th, 2011 when he went missing. The search lasted 17 days before his body was found floating in the water. He was on a boat by himself when the seat back broke and threw him into the 38 degree water and he was unable to get out. In July of 2011, John and Tammy donated dive equipment to the sheriff's office to help with rescue operations.
"Through the loss of James and an amazing community here in Lowndes County, we were able to raise some $148,000 over a 90 day period and donate 24 dry suits, a dive boat, sonar, metal detectors, boat motor," John said.
It was eight hours before emergency responders were able to get in the water and begin searching for James because they did not have the necessary equipment.
Now, thanks to the family's efforts, the sheriff's office doesn't have to wait to begin a water rescue. "Every time our dive team has gone out, Sheriff Prine has called us to tell us that they have recovered someone or they've used the equipment," Tammy Eunice, James's mother, pointed out.
And they hope to be able to continue to give back however they can.