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Volleyball tournament honors fallen deputy, benefits Special Olympics

Crowds gathered both from the sheriff’s office and the community to ensure Hopper’s memory lives on through a volleyball tournament she founded in 2008 for her daughter. (WKEF/WRGT)

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) – Six years after Deputy Suzanne Hopper was shot and killed at a trailer park in Enon, her family is keeping her memory alive at a volleyball tournament.

The scene on January 1, 2011, where she was shot and killed by Michael Ferryman still gives deputies who were there and who knew Hopper chills.

“She was a wonderful person,” Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett said. “She was always there to help. Never said no. And always had a big smile on her face. She was just a really wonderful person.”

Crowds gathered both from the sheriff’s office and the community to ensure Hopper’s memory lives on through a volleyball tournament she founded in 2008 for her daughter.

The tournament benefits the Special Olympics, and her daughter, who has special needs, served the first ball of the night.

“I love the fact that everyone can come out and support the Special Olympics,” Burchett said, “and be there for Suzanne, too.”

Clark County Deputy Wendy Donovan knew Hopper well, and serves as co-chair for the tournament.

“As soon as I started in the department, she took me under her wing, got me into everything, got me into honor guard,” Donovan said.

Hopper’s family watched at the event as dozens kept her memory alive at the event which grows every year.

“They’re overwhelmed with the fact that we have carried on and her loving and sharing way,” Donovan said, “And they’re just amazed by it every year, I think.”

Organizers told FOX 45 the tournament raised $500 in 2008, but six years later, their goal was $5,000.

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