This GoFundMe is set up by Great Balls of Fire/Charlotte Salute to Heroes Hockey Foundation in honor of Sergeant Mark Christian Reilly. SGT. Mark Reilly was a player for 10 plus years in the Annual Charlotte Salute to Heroes Hockey game which supported his public safety brothers, sisters and their families in their time of need. Mark was always one of the top revenue producers in selling tickets to friends, family and fellow co workers. He is one of only two players to have played for both Charlotte Heroes Hockey teams. His first year with the CFD/MEDIC team in 2013 he scored the game winning goal against his former CMPD/MCSO team. This was SGT. Reilly's only goal while playing in the game. While Mark was never a top 6 forward for either team he was always top producer in ticket sales. His game winning goal in the 2013 against his former team is legendary.
The goal of this fund will help the Reilly family in their transition from SGT. Reilly being the main provider. As you will learn to understand from the story below SGT. Reilly has been involved his whole life in service to others. While in the Marines, in Public Safety, Mentor to future Marines, Cub Scout Leader, his Church and most notably to his family. He has always been there for others and now it's our turn to be there for him. We hope you will help and show your support for this great man and his family.
After a hard-fought battle with an aggressive cancer, Sergeant Mark Christian Reilly of Lexington, SC, was surrounded by his family at his home when he passed away on May 6, 2020 while in Hospice Care at the age of 49. He leaves behind his wife of 11 ½ years, Elizabeth Christine Reilly, also of Lexington; their two young children, Abbigail Faith (age 10) and Benjamin Cole (age 9); and his oldest son, Matthew Joseph (age 15), of Charlotte, NC. Sgt. Reilly was born on May 27, 1970, in Abington, PA to the late Robert Joseph Reilly and Kathleen “Kit” Grace Butts (Orr) and was then raised in Sarasota, FL, since the age of 5 by his mom and stepdad, Joe E. Butts, whom he referred to as “Dad”. Sgt. Reilly was a patient husband, encouraging father, loving son, competitive brother and loyal friend, always putting others first. His funny sarcastic sense of humor along with his half smile or smirk always brightened up any room, as he was loved by many throughout the years. A true hero both as a man and as a Marine, Sgt. Reilly was a graduate of West Florida Christian School, class of 1988, prior to joining the United States Marine Corps in 1991. Eager to be part of the fight in the first Gulf War, operations had ended by the time Sgt. Reilly completed his training at Parris Island and at the School of Infantry. Trained as a 0351 infantry assault man, Sgt. Reilly was selected and assigned to Marine Corps Security Forces where he served in Bermuda and Patuxent River, MD. In the summer of 1993, Sgt. Reilly was assigned to 2nd Bn 8th Marines (2/8) "America's Battalion" where he was part of Weapons Company and the battalion's quick reaction platoon. While with the 2/8, he completed the arduous Mountain Warfare Course in Bridgeport, CA and was part of a select few that were sent to Guantanamo Bay Cuba in October 1993 as part of Special Task Force in support of Operation Support Democracy in Haiti. Sgt. Reilly deployed with the 2/8 to Okinawa, Japan and South Korea from June 1994-December 1994. He was honorably discharged from active duty shortly thereafter. In 2001, Sgt. Reilly re-enlisted in the active reserve complement of the Marine Corps and was assigned to 4th Marine Logistics Group where he leveraged his technical background. Sgt. Reilly deployed as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 in Al-Daiwaniyah. Sgt. Reilly was again honorably discharged in 2003 after his deployment. Sgt. Reilly, who was loved and respected by his fellow Marines, always set high standard as a Marine. Both an expert rifle and pistol shooter, he was the recipient of numerous awards and citations including the Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, as well as several unit awards for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom.Between his active duty and active reserve tour, Sgt. Reilly was a first responder with the City of Charlotte. He began as a 911 dispatcher for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 1996 and was later promoted to Dispatch Shift Supervisor where he served until late 2012 when he went to work at the Charlotte Fire Training Academy for the Charlotte Fire Department until the end of 2015. He also played for many of these years with both the CMPD and CFD hockey teams, participating in the Annual Salute to Heroes charity hockey games for more than 10 years. In 2016, Sgt. Reilly began a new career in computer technology as a contractor through DP Professional for Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC in Columbia. He worked as a Data Analyst I until he was hired on full time by BCBS-SC and promoted to a Server Tech in 2019. Although Sgt. Reilly was diagnosed with terminal esophageal cancer in December 2018, he found his strength and courage from his Heavenly Father, always remaining positive no matter what the outcome of His plan. Dedication to his job and optimistic outlook for God’s Plan gave him the drive to manage working full time, while undergoing extensive and rigorous chemotherapy treatments, up until 2 ½ weeks prior to his passing. Never once complaining or asking “why”, Sgt. Reilly remained a true Marine all the way to the very end, never giving up or quitting the fight for his life. Always staying true to his Marine motto, “Semper Fidelis”, meaning “always faithful”, he continued to serve and care for his wife and family. Sgt. Reilly is survived by his wife; three children.