The gathering Saturday honors the memory of Ontario County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Shaver

CANANDAIGUA — The late Ontario County Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua P. Shaver loved to have fun. He loved to be with his family and friends, and he loved live music.

A Back the Blue event Saturday in honor of Team Shaver promises all of that and is only the latest example of the amazing support and kindness from the community that has come from something so heartbreaking and tragic, said his wife, Mary Shaver.

“I wish he could see it,” Mary Shaver said.

Shaver, a corrections officer who grew up in Honeoye, died as a result of injuries suffered in a vehicle crash in May, shortly after completing his work shift. He was 35.

But the event Saturday is more a celebration of his life, organizers said.

Festivities kick off at noon and will continue until 9:30 p.m. at the Granger Homestead, 295 N. Main St. The event is being put on by the Ontario County Sheriff’s General Unit and Canandaigua YMCA.

Event coordinator Donna Schaertl said the event is free, but donations will be accepted for the Shaver family, which includes two young daughters, Laney and Kelsey.

“We’re really trying to make this a Josh Shaver event,” Schaertl said. “We’re trying to have fun with it.”

Chicken barbecue will be available, beginning at noon until sold out. Food trucks, including Meat the Press, Smokin’ Hot Chicks BBQ, and Proia Catering and BBQ, will be on hand, as will Abbott’s Frozen Custard. Reinvention Brewing Co., a Manchester-based microbrewery, will be offering tastings, and Nolan’s also will be serving beer and wine.

Several items will be raffled off, everything from gift baskets to a pair of drumsticks autographed by the drummer for country artist Jason Aldean to a custom-made poker table, which Deputy Shaver had asked a friend of his to make for poker nights.

In addition to face painting, henna tattoos and other family-style games and activities, the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 Unit will be doing demonstrations.

Shotgun Music will provide music from noon to 4 p.m., followed by performances from the bands Sounds Like Sunday and Jukebox Militia.

Organizing the event has been a labor of love, Schaertl said.

“The community has really rallied around him,” Schaertl said. “A lot of people have put a lot of volunteer time in. It’s all for Mary and the girls.”

The effort is appreciated, Mary Shaver said.

The loss of her husband obviously has been hard on the family — he was a “hands-on dad,” Mary Shaver said.

“We’re all feeling the void of him not being here,” she said. “It’s tough, but the support from the community helps. It’s unbelievable. He loved to have fun and was larger than life. He would have loved this being done for us.”

If you go

WHAT A benefit for the late Ontario County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Shaver's family

WHEN Noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE Granger Homestead, 295 N. Main St., Canandaigua

COST Admission is free, although donations will be accepted to help the Shaver family