Velvet says that those who didn’t know her brother Layne “would have loved him if they had. Everyone loved Layne”!
(photo credit: family of Layne Creed)
Layne Creed was evidently such a “people person” that everyone loved to be around him. He was quiet until you got to know him, but once you did, he was a man that you wanted to spend time with. His sister Renee says he was “just amazing” and had a great smile. He was a giver of time and self and was always willing to lend a hand. He never had children of his own, but he frequently gave time and attention to everyone else’s. When he wasn’t operating his paving business, Layne loved to spend time on the boat, and to ride horses and motorcycles.
In keeping with his habit of helping others, he spent the day that he died working at the family home on Lake Norman. After hours of working on the roof, Layne went out on the pontoon boat with 9 others to cool down after the day. He left his cell phone, wallet and knife with his mother Nancy, and headed out on the boat. Velvet says that she could hear in his voice that he wasn’t quite himself but when she called him (using his own phone) he said he was just tired. From the shoreline, she could hear Layne and the others out on the boat, laughing and carrying on.
But it wasn’t too long before all she heard was the panicked calling of Layne’s name. He had picked up Travis’ wife, Angela, with the intention of playfully throwing her into the water but he ended up going in too … and he never came up. Velvet frantically called 911 using Layne’s own phone, while friends desperately tried to find him. They called his name over and over and jumped in to try to find him, all to no avail. It seemed to Velvet that within minutes the place was swarming with first responders. During this same time, Renee and a carload of friends were on their way out to the lake for the evening. They ended up riding right in behind all the rescue vehicles and were horrified to find that it was Layne the rescuers were coming to help. Rescue Squads, Police, and Fire vehicles kept arriving and they all seemed to have come so quickly … even though in her shock Velvet had had trouble remembering the correct address.
For two days, they searched for Layne. That first night, they searched until it was no longer safe to do so, and then they came back early the next morning and started all over again. Finally after 48 hours, his body came to the surface and he was found. The family stayed awake for two days … in shock, sadness, and disbelief that he was gone. How could a man who spent so many years of his life in and around the water, have drowned? It turns out that he’d had a heart attack and drowned as a result. It was August 19, 2006 and the year was now doubly devastating. Joe Creed, the father of Velvet, Layne, Scotty and Renee, had died just 7 months before.
(photo credit: 13 Bones wall picture and Layne Creed Memorial Ride FB Page)
Velvet says that she, her mother Nancy, and Renee and Scotty never wanted to have another family live through the horror of those 48 hours … and soon the idea of a Ride for the Rescuers was born. The many, many tasks that had to be accomplished in planning such a big event gave the family “something to do and it was a way to try to manage the overwhelming grief”. Over $7000 was raised that first year and was given to the rescuers in Sherrills Ford Fire and Rescue to help with the purchase of an underwater camera. The donation of that money inspired the rescuers to seek grant funding and ultimately the underwater camera was purchased. Because of that the Creed family knew that no other family would suffer the way that they had during the long 2 days of searching for Layne.
(photo credit: Layne Creed FB Page)
According to Layne’s sister, Renee, “That was the most horrible feeling, because we knew where he was, but we had to wait for that sonar a whole day to find him. So that’s why we were so passionate about helping them get their sonar. After we helped them, we wanted to put the money back into our community, because there’s always something that needs to be purchased and you never know when you are going to need help”. The family just wanted something good to come out of the tragedy of losing Layne.
(photo courtesy of Dale Sands)
There have been 6 rides in memory of Layne since that first one in 2007. The committee has regular planning meetings that start 4 to 5 months before each year’s ride. Velvet says that there are so many friends who attend the meetings and help to plan the ride and the Creed family is grateful to each and every one. The planning has gotten a bit easier each year as the committee has learned how to manage the work load involved in pulling off such a big ride. The whole family pulls together to plan the ride. In addition to Velvet and Renee, Layne’s brother Scotty, mother Nancy and brothers-in-law, Ken Ross and Chris Leonard all help with the event each year. They believe that the large volunteer force, and the many folks who ride, is a testament to the person that Layne was.
The 2012 Layne Creed Memorial Ride raised over $5500, despite the fact that the ride took place in a driving rain. This year’s money was donated to the Children’s Center of Surry and Yadkin, which provides support services to strengthen family relationships and prevent child abuse. The Children’s Center received money from the 2011 ride as well.
Velvet says her “heart is overfull” and the family and the committee are grateful that so many people came out to ride even though the weather proved to be such a challenge. They say that the many hours of work required to ensure a successful and safe ride year after year are worth it when so many people come out to celebrate the life of their loved one, and in his memory, donate money to a variety of causes in the surrounding communities. Over the past 6 years, more than $34,000 has been raised in the memory of Layne Creed with donations going to Fire and Rescue Departments in Surry, Booneville, Yadkin, and Fall Creek. In addition, in each of the past 4 years, 2 students have received $250 scholarships to help with expenses at Surry Community College.
(Photo credit Mt Airy News)
The Creed Family recently posted the following statement on the Layne Creed Memorial Ride Facebook Page:
We are so THANKFUL to have so many people help us with all the hard work! We can not thank you all enough! You all mean so much to us. Taking time out of your life to help us organize, and work the ride, and raise money for the Children’s Home of Surry and Yadkin in MEMORY of our beloved LAYNE CREED. Thanks to all of the people and businesses who donated!
Again we greatly appreciate anyone who helped in any way with this event!