Help us continue

Will's legacy


The Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation was established in honor of Will to continue his legacy by benefiting youth and police in Searcy and Conway.

About Will

About the

On February 1, 2013, Officer Will McGary gave the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving the citizens of Conway, Arkansas when he was fatally struck by a vehicle driven by an impaired driver. In Will’s hometown of Searcy he made many lifelong friendships with his infectious smile, great sense of humor, and passion for life. Will left a lasting impression on those who knew him and many that only knew about him. His integrity, character and putting service above himself was certainly evident as a son, brother, athlete, friend and in his chosen profession, as a police officer.


Will had a desire to make a difference in this life and he continued
his giving spirit even in death through organ donation. The three recipients who received his heart and kidneys attest to his generous nature. There is no way to sum up in words all that Will meant to his family and friends. We are so very proud of the man he became and the life he lived.


One hundred years from now the name of Officer William Michael McGary will still be etched in stone on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., along with 20,000 others. What sets these names apart from the rest of humanity? The answer lies within a quote upon those walls by Vivian Cross which states, “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.” Will’s death was tragic. It was untimely and unexpected. A senseless crime sent this 26-year-old officer to his death. His survivors, though still struggling to adapt to their lives without him, chose to allow Will’s legacy to continue to make a powerful and positive impact on the communities he loved through the creation of the Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation.


Established by a group consisting of Will’s church family and friends, the Foundation initially set out to raise money for memorial awards to grant to high school seniors to help with college tuition. While this is still a large part of what we do through the Foundation, we have also incorporated the general support of law enforcement.


Through personal experience, the McGary family came to realize the need for assistance and support to the families and brothers-in-arms of fallen law enforcement officers. After the traumatic loss of a loved one, counseling and therapy are often needed to help survivors on their way to healing, but this is not always financially possible for these families. While there are established support groups of this sort in existence, they are often not locally based. The Foundation provides financial assistance to these officers to be able to attend post critical incident stress seminars after traumas and tragedies they face in the line of duty. The Foundation also helps with needs that law enforcement officers may face such as protective gear and general equipment related to their duty as officers. We want these men and women to know that we are aware of the everyday struggles they face. Regarding their willingness to put their lives, increasingly, these days, at risk for little pay and little appreciation, we want them to feel supported and respected by those they serve. They are the thin blue line that stands between us and a lawless society.



The Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation continues to assist the youth of our community by providing an annual monetary award to a high school senior who is selected by Foundation board members from a pool of applicants. This student is nominated by his/her teachers and coaches based on attributes which lead them to believe the student they nominate will be a true asset to the community. We feel that it is important to recognize and promote social responsibility in our young people. To date, the Will McGary Memorial Award has gone out to four seniors: Will Dunavan, Connor English, Traike Elliott and Jacob Rose.


Will was athletic and good-natured with a magnetic personality and great sense of humor and was a positive role model from an early age. He had a loving and generous heart and provided for the possibility of continuing to save and change lives even after his death through the process of organ donation. We actively raise awareness of the need for organ donors. We provide education regarding the impact that the choice to become an organ donor can have on those in need and their families. Will’s story has inspired many, young and old alike. His legacy carries itself forward in the lives of everyone he touched, both in life and in death.


We are proud to serve those who serve and protect us.


The Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization and 100% of your donation goes to support police and youth.



Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation Board Members

Eric King, President

Vice President Centennial Bank, Conway, AR


Tom Poe, Vice President

Manager Lenders Title, Conway, AR


Dara Tapley, Treasurer/Secretary

Realtor Crye-Leike Realtors, Conway, AR


Jim Rankin, Jr.

Trinity Development Company, Conway, AR


Chris  Mitchell

Director of Safety, Central Baptist College Conway, AR


James Hays

Pastor, Valley Baptist Church, Searcy, AR


Harold, Tanya & Lindsey McGary

Family of Will McGary, Searcy, AR


Jody Spradlin

Chief of Police, Conway, AR


Lt. Gene Hodges

Conway Police Department, Conway, AR

It's not how he died that made him a hero. It's how he lived.


Our Story



Register for Event



Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation   |   Nonprofit Organization 501(c)3