Correction: An earlier version of this story had a photo from a previous event that was not the DeRosier fundraiser. The photo has been removed.
The community has once again rallied around the DeRosier family.
A softball tournament Sunday raised $12,000 for the family of the fallen Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy Justin DeRosier. With 20 teams and 242 participants, the event brought more than 800 people to Roy Morse Park in West Longview.
Teams competed in 39 games played between 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., according to the tournament director and coordinator, Brent Johnson.
“A bunch of us knew Justin personally, and we wanted to help out. We’ve done this before, so we knew what to do,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Teresa Rise, Shawn and Lindsay Michael and Brandon Driscoll were key organizers. This is the third benefit they have put on, according to Johnson.
The first benefit they created was in 2016, raising $6,000 at the Papa Bear benefit softball tournament. Following that, they formed one for Addy Jo Cliffton and raised $9,000 with 12 teams playing. (Addy Jo was the 4-year-old Longview girl who died in 2016 after winning the heart of the community while battling leukemia.)
Teams from the sheriff’s department, a DeRosier family team and local softball teams were just a few of the groups playing on Sunday, with another tournament scheduled for this weekend.
The Kelso Girls Softball Association is playing in another fundraiser for the DeRosier family June 15 and 16.
“We play in a lot of these kinds of things,” said Mark Rea, a Kelso Girls Softball Association coach.
While they didn’t help attend the first fundraiser, showing support is important to them, Rea said.
“We decided it would be good to do,” Johnson said. “We like to give back to the community and softball is our passion.”
Justin DeRosier, 29, died in the early morning of April 14 after he was shot late the night before while investigating a blocking vehicle on Fallert Road. He left a wife and a young child.
Fundraisers on his family’s behalf had raised well in excess of $100,000 as of last month. An updated total was not immediately available Tuesday.
Editor's note: A pervious version of this story stated the Kelso Girls Softball team played in this fundraiser. They actually have their own tournament planned for this coming weekend and did not play in this one.