Cpl. Eugene Cole. Credit: Somerset County Sheriff's Office

This week marks one year since the killing of Somerset County sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole.

His hometown of Norridgewock is declaring Thursday “Corporal Eugene Cole Day,” which falls one year since his death. John D. Williams, 30, of Madison, who was arrested after a four-day manhunt, has pleaded not guilty to killing Cole. He will go on trial later this year.

Town Manager Richard Labelle said Cole’s killing last April hit the community hard. What followed was an outpouring of support that continues to this day.

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“Well I think it’s something that allows everyone to contribute in their own way and give back in their own way, small or big,” Labelle said.

Boxes at the town office are filling up fast with non-perishable food and personal care items that will all be donated to local organizations and food pantries in honor of Cole.

“Encourage people to volunteer, be active in their community, give back, pay things forward, and really carry out what Gene stood for within our community,” Labelle said.

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Donations are being collected throughout Somerset County and will be delivered Thursday.

“It’s something that has the potential to be high impact, and wherever we collect, we want to put it back so our collection here in Norridgewock will stay with organizations in Norridgewock,” Labelle said.

Labelle said they plan to do this in Cole’s honor every April.

Related: Cpl. Eugene Cole’s memorial service

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