Conway game shop, community coming together to help orphaned 5-year-old girl

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 7:07 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2022 at 7:27 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach Games of Conway is holding a fundraiser next month to shed light on mental health and help a young girl who lost both of her parents in the past few months.

The game store was a place where you could almost always find Zachary Sawyers. He came in daily to play or chat with employees or other customers.

The store’s co-owner, Chris Steele, even gave him a key so he could come in when the store was closed. Sawyers often brought his wife Melissa with him and their five-year-old daughter.

“We got to know the whole family, and they became family,” said Steele. “If they needed something we were there. If we needed something, they were there.”

Sawyers’ life was completely altered about six months ago when Melissa was on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19.

She passed away on Oct. 18, 2021.

“Not to excuse what he did, but he got drug through the mud,” said Steele. “He went from having it all to having nothing in a couple of months.”

Steele said Sawyers then fell into a depression and began to push away his family and friends.

He then led police on a high-speed chase through Horry and Georgetown counties on March 19. Authorities said his body was later found and his death was ruled as suicide.

“He felt by removing himself from the situation, that his daughter was going to have a better life,” said Steele. “He felt so lost that she would be better off with family members and friends than without him.”

Steele has seen Sawyers almost every day for the past six years and described him as someone who would do anything to help others.

He added that Sawyers loved being able to teach his wife and daughter games he learned at the store.

“He was so much more and so many more things that this one thing should not define his entire existence on this planet,” said Steele. “His daughter now has to deal with these things.”

Zach and Melissa’s daughter is currently with her extended biological family, but those at Myrtle Beach Games of Conway have known her since she was born, and think of her as family.

The store is hosting a fundraiser for her on April 16 at its location in downtown Conway.

“We are all uncles and aunts to this young girl now and everybody wants to make sure that she’s has everything she’s ever needed,” said Steele.

More information about the fundraiser can be found on the Myrtle Beach Games Facebook page or by calling the store at (843) 503-0727.

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