ROUND ROCK, Texas -- The Round Rock Police Department is in mourning after losing one of their own to a drunken driving accident, and officers planned a fundraiser for medical bills during his month long battle with his injuries.
Now, just one day after his passing, that fundraiser takes on an even deeper meaning.
The Blue Line Bass Club's mission is to give back. That was always the goal of the group's President, Austin Police Officer Bobby Townes.
"That was the idea that I had when I started the Blue Line Bass Club. To give back in time of need for officers and first responders,” said Townes.
When Round Rock Officer Charles Whites was hit by a drunk driver during a traffic stop, the club took action.
"Brent Smith from Round Rock, when all of this actually took place, he got with me and said can we do something for Charles and try to raise money for the family. I said, ‘Sure, let's have an open bass tournament instead of our normal monthly tournament.’," Townes said.
That monthly tournament, usually reserved for club members and first responders, was open to the public. Fishermen were encouraged to set sail over the lake to see who could bring back the biggest catch. It was all to raise money for a man that loved to serve.
Retired Round Rock Police Officer Brent Smith worked with Whites for most of his career at the department.
"[He] cared about his community, his family, his friends," Smith said. "He's just a very caring individual."
The weeks went by after the accident and the club used all resources to plan for this day. When Officer Whites died from those injuries just one day before the event, his fellow officers were devastated.
"It's a strong department but everybody's suffering I mean their hurting," Smith said. "I mean they'll go on for Charles. They'll continue to serve the community."
The officers went on with the event with the same focus in mind, paying for Whites' medical bills and supporting his wife any way that they can.
"Obviously we wanted him to pull through but now, it's more going to support Connie and let her know that we're going to be here it's not just a one day event. Whatever she needs we're going to be there for her, that's what the unity of the blue line means."
The event raised $8,200 from the entry fees of 58 different teams. The club expects sales from their silent auction, raffle and BBQ plates to bring that number past $10,000.