Fundraiser planned for Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs; football jersey to be retired Oct. 13

Friends and family of Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs have planned a family-friendly fundraiser in his memory.

This Sunday, Sept. 23, will mark the first annual “TSgt. Dashan J. Briggs Family Fun Day and BBQ Contest,” held at Stotzky Park in Riverhead from noon to 5 p.m.

“This day involves almost everything he loved, and we want to have a day to enjoy with him and reminisce about Dashan in a positive light,” said his sister-in-law, Tara Karen. “He would want us to be together and laugh and share stories.”

The community event will celebrate his life, cut short at the age of 30 when a helicopter crashed in March while he was serving with the 106th Rescue Wing in Iraq.

He left behind his wife, Rebecca, and their children Jayden, 3, and Ava, 2. Proceeds raised by the event will benefit the young family.

The event will also celebrate the things Sgt. Briggs loved most: “family, friends, and barbecuing,” Ms. Karen said.

A barbecue contest will also be held. His family recalled that he loved smoking brisket.

The suggested $25 donation includes admission, food, kickball and raffles.

“We miss him so much and every day is really a struggle to get by without him,” Ms. Karen said. “But we wanted one day to have everyone come together and celebrate Dashan and the impact he had on our lives.”

To make a donation, get tickets or enter the contest, contact Ms. Karen at [email protected].

On Oct. 13, the Riverhead Central School District will retire his No. 22 football jersey during a ceremony before the start of the game against Centereach. The ceremony will start at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverhead High School football field. Tech. Sgt. Briggs was a standout on the Blue Waves’ 2006 team that went undefeated in the regular season. He went on to play football in college at Morrisville State College.

“He exemplified what it is to be a man,” football coach Leif Shay said in March.

Dashan Briggs, center, pictured making a tackle during a Riverhead football game in 2006. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)

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