Radio host to give check to Sgt. Brown’s widow
WINTER HAVEN (www.newschief.com)- Bubba the Love SpongeÂ® Clem didn’t want any publicity. He just wanted to help two grieving widows in any way possible.
Clem, who is a morning talk show host on 102.5 The Bone in Tampa, created the Bubba the Love SpongeÂ® Foundation in early 2009 to help with any charitable aspects in the community. This foundation, in conjunction with several areas businesses, will present a check to the widow of Sgt. Ronnie Brown at Stingray Chevrolet in Plant City Nov. 19. Clem will also present a check to the widow of Cpl. Mike Roberts, of Hillsborough County, who also was shot and killed Aug. 19.
Brown, who was working as a Polk detention deputy at the South Polk County jail in Frostproof, was involved in an altercation with an inmate on Aug. 30 and suffered a fractured vertebrae. Brown had surgery at Winter Haven hospital, but died on Sept. 9 after complications from his injury.
“We have strategically positioned our foundation to help officers or first responders,” Clem said. “After Sgt. Brown died, and also Cpl. Roberts in Tampa was shot as well, we wanted to do something to help these two widows.”
Clem’s foundation has been a part of a Bikes For Badges event along with assisting in raising money for fallen police officers or first responders. Bikes For Badges was the first big charitable event that Clem’s foundation contributed to.
Stingray Chevrolet’s Steve Hurley was the first business owner to step up and approach Clem about assisting in raising money for the fallen deputies. Hurley agreed to give $50 for every new or used car sold at his dealership during the month of October. Shellie Herndon, of the Car Store in Seffner, agreed to give $100 for every new or used car sold. Other businesses participating included Purple People Movers, K&J Pressure Cleaning, The Bay Area Motor Works and Old Northeast Jewelers.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who has appeared as a guest on the Bubba the Love SpongeÂ® show, will attend the check presentation and honor Brown’s memory. He said he’s very appreciative to what Clem and the other businesses are doing to assist in the healing process for Brown’s family.
“I’m overwhelmed that they would do this and It’s truly an honor for me to be there,” Judd said. “What’s overwhelming about it is the fact that people who don’t even know Sgt. Brown are going above and beyond to show their appreciation and that’s special to me.”
Judd said this shows the power of a community and people who want to help a fallen deputy.
“We live together, and when an officer dies in the line of duty we all grieve together as well,” Judd said.
Clem expressed the satisfaction that comes with being able to help two widows who no longer have their husbands in their life.
“My foundation is the forum in that we all come together, but there are a lot of good people behind this with a bunch of good businesses behind this,” Clem said. “This is not about me. It’s about the two families that we are helping during this tough time.”