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Family of first African American Manatee Co. deputy honors his spirit with Thanksgiving giveaway

Posted at 5:49 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 17:49:58-05

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Sylvester Bellamy was the first African American Manatee County Deputy. He started with the force in the mid 1960’s.

"Sylvester broke the color barrier here, one of the first African American deputies, ever at the sheriff’s office, today in his honor we want to give back to his community,” said Sheriff Rick Wells.

Bellamy’s family organized a turkey donation for less fortunate families. They dedicated the event to the retired deputy. Bellamy passed away in 2014.

“He is probably happy to see all of us to come together, he would be very pleased,” said Ray Bellamy.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office delivered meals to about 150 families. Sheriff Wells said he believes the event will set an example for kids.

"The kids need to know that there are people here that want to help them succeed, they aren’t alone,” said Wells.

Nef Taly said his family wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving meal if it weren’t for this event.

“I really appreciate it, it’s really helpful for them to give this to us,” said Taly.

Organizers said they plan to feed three hundred families next year.