RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Earlier this year we were asked to pay it forward to a Prince George County police officer for her prolific fundraising and her tremendous courage following a debilitating stroke. After her sudden death three weeks ago, loved ones wanted to honor her memory with an Act of Kindness for the people she called "her" heroes.
Sabrina: "We're very, very happy to present you with one hundred, two hundred, three hundred dollars and it's exciting to hear how this will be used."
"it only felt right to donate the money back to the Special Olympics."
It's a sentiment echoed by the crowd gathered outside Prince George County Police Headquarters, coaches and athletes in red and white.
"I just marveled at what she was doing for Special Olympics."
Officers in blue, all eager to pay tribute to the woman who brought them together. 10-year veteran Lt. Shelley Crowder was passionate about giving.
"It was always about someone else"
And inspired by the courage of Special Olympians.
"That was her baby, she loved everything about it, she loved all of the people"
The daughter and wife of police officers made fundraising a family affair.
"That's what motivated her to come back from her strokes was to do that, she was an inspiration, she was my hero," said Kimberly Barrol, Shelley's sister.
Ashley Aleshire: "We all loved her, she was very special, this is such an honor."
James Crowder: "Thank you, Ashley, and thank you so much for the nomination. (applause)"
Lt. James Crowder said there's no better way to honor his wife than by supporting the cause to which she was deeply committed.
"What she seen in the Special Olympics is true strength, and as she went through her stroke, learned to walk again, she learned to talk again, she often talked about she's doing the same thing these athletes do everyday," said Crowder.
Crowder said, before her stroke his wife immersed herself in fundraising — leading the charge in the annual Polar Plunge in Virginia Beach. They called themselves 'Copsicles.'
"As it says on the shirt, freezin' for a reason."
He says his wife dreamed of someday coaching the champion bowlers, track stars, swimmers and golfers.
Sabrina: "You've had some success?"
"Yes, gold medal last year in Virginia Beach."
They were her heroes.
"Rest in peace my friend."
"These funds are going to make sure that at least five athletes from this community attend the summer games this year," said Roy Zeidman, V.P. of the Special Olympics.
Sabrina: "That's awesome (cheers)."
"To have that money go to the Special Olympics.... I can just see her now, she is smiling so big , this is what she would want," said Ashley.
If there's an organization or individual you believe deserves an Act of Kindness, e-mail me. Remember, it cannot be a relative.
Send your nomination to KINDNESS@NBC12.COM.