RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Ridgeville Police Chief Quinton Joyner spent the afternoon frying turkeys for members of the community who would otherwise not have a Thanksgiving meal.
And he made sure the grieving family of slain University of Virginia athlete Lavel Davis Jr. also received a special meal and a ‘thank you’ ahead of the holiday.
Chief Joyner said Davis would often lend a helping hand during community food distribution events at the town hall whenever he was available.
“If he’s out of school and available, he’ll come and see us,” Chief Joyner recalled. “He would bring the football team with him sometimes. That’s just what he wanted to do – be community oriented.”
Davis also played football at Woodland High School before being picked to play football at UVA after graduation.
Chief Joyner said the Town of Ridgeville meant a lot to the athlete. Even sporting a tattoo on his arm that reflected the mile marker number which leads into the Dorchester County town.
“He meant a lot to Ridgeville,” Chief Joyner said. “We had high aspirations for him. His family had high aspirations for him—the whole town.”
Meanwhile, Ridgeville Mayor Clarence Hughes said it was important for the town to ensure the Davis family received a turkey and meal during their “time of grievance.” As a community, he said they need to stick together in support of the family.
“This is one of our appreciations that we are showing them,” he said.
Hughes remembered Davis as being the “life of everybody” and an inspiration to the town. “Well respected, mannerable [SIC], smart, and then he was going to UVA… and he had everything going for himself. He would light up this whole town if he would walk through it with his smile,” he noted.
Mayor Hughes said the town has been frying turkeys for members of the community for about 15 years.
Woodland High School will hold a candlelight vigil in Davis’s honor Wednesday night at the school’s football stadium.