LEAD Upstate, a local non-profit, is gearing up for its 7th annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Friday, September 17th, 2021. Over 500 law enforcement personnel from Greenville County are invited to the appreciation breakfast, which is sponsored by community businesses and individuals seeking to thank the officers for their dedication to serving and protecting our communities.
This year LEAD is excited to announce Project Blue Light, a campaign encouraging community members all across the Upstate to show their support for law enforcement by turning their front porch light blue during the week of the event, September 13th-17th, 2021. The blue light is a symbol of respect and solidarity for all officers and their families.
Robert E. Ianuario, P.C. is the 2021 Blue Light Sponsor and his generous donation allowed LEAD to purchase 800 blue light bulbs to be used in the campaign. “As a lawyer, I work closely with law enforcement officers from agencies across the community. Through my work and the friendships that develop with these officers, I am privileged to see the honorable service that they provide. Their work is truly a calling that often goes unrecognized. I am proud to partner with LEAD to present Project Blue Light, and I encourage everyone to show their support by using one of these free light bulbs” says Robert Ianuario.
The blue bulbs are free to the public and will be available for pickup at Marchant Real Estate (100 W Stone Avenue) or Raymond James (112 Haywood Road) from Monday August 23rd – Friday September 10th.
Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis expressed his appreciation for the event, “I am so grateful and humbled to have an organization like LEAD in our community. Through their various efforts, LEAD has provided much needed and continued law enforcement support throughout the years; and their efforts have undoubtedly boosted morale within the ranks at our wonderful agency. LEAD Upstate sets the standard for recognizing the unwavering service of area law enforcement, and I am forever thankful for their service and all of their supporters.”
The LEAD Upstate sponsors are honored to host this event for the men and women who courageously dedicate their lives to serve the citizens of their communities. “It’s been an honor to work beside LEAD Upstate in their efforts to show such unwavering support for our fellow men and women in law enforcement. What started as a kind gesture of appreciation has grown exponentially into an entire week to honor the work of those who put their lives on the line everyday. I speak for my brothers and sisters in blue of how much this week means to us all in the law enforcement community,” remarked Chief Deputy Marcus Davenport of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
More About LEAD Upstate
Seabrook Marchant, President and Broker-in-Charge of Marchant Real Estate, is the founder of LEAD Upstate and has always held a special appreciation for law enforcement officers. He was a member of the Civil Service Commission for Greenville which was responsible for hiring police and firefighters in the city of Greenville. Through his service, Seabrook became well acquainted with the needs, concerns and triumphs of our local law enforcement officers. “We are thrilled to celebrate the men and women who so fearlessly serve and protect our community and are excited to host this event in honor of our local law enforcement officers,” Marchant remarked.
In 2014, after seeing an inordinate amount of officers at Tommy’s Ham House waiting for breakfast, Seabrook and a friend decided to buy the officers their meals as a token of their appreciation. This was a catalyst for the LEAD event, expanding every year since then as Seabrook has sought out more sponsors to continue the annual tradition. In 2019, there came a need for a bigger venue as “the law enforcement breakfast at Tommy’s Ham House” amassed more popularity amongst different municipal offices. After arranging accommodations at The Westin Poinsett, officers were invited to come between shifts to enjoy breakfast and fellowship with one another. In addition to the breakfast, each officer received a “valor bag” filled with gifts from local businesses and organizations to show their support.
This year, the event will be at The Greenville Convention Center in a special drive through format to accommodate our growing event. There will be several stations to hand out valor bags filled with gifts for the officers, t-shirts, breakfast, and coffee from the safety of their own cars. Additionally, we will be handing out giveaway prizes that have been donated such as tv’s, airpods and tablets that the officers may have won through our daily drawings in the week leading up to the event.
Each year, this event gains more participation and sponsorships while amassing an abounding appreciation for the selfless individuals who have pledged their lives to the people. The city of Greenville is indebted to its officers, and it is the goal of LEAD Upstate to show its gratitude through this event, honoring those who put their lives on the line every day to protect us.