KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Dozens turned out to Shoreline Church in Knoxville Saturday to support fallen office Kenny Moats and his family by raising money with a kickball tournament.
The tournament was originally intended to raise money for the annual police unity tour, but when organizers heard news of Moats’ death, they said they wanted the money instead to go to the Moats family.
“When you go home, you always kiss your wife and kids goodbye thinking it might be the last time,” participant John Edgar said. “But the average person never things about that until it happens.”
Participants described the day as bittersweet as they celebrated the life and sacrifice of Officer Moats in several games of kickball.
“He’s a brother and it’s part of the brotherhood so when something happens to one person, it affects us all,” participant Anthony Phillips said.
Each player paid $20 to participate in the tournament, with all money going directly to Moats’ wife and three small children.
“Somebody has to take care of them,” Edgar said. “He’s not coming home to take care of his family so we’re going to.”
The tournament will continue through the day until a champion team is crowned at the end.
Participants said they hope the gesture will send an important message to the Moats family, that Kenny’s legacy will always live on in East Tennessee.