Meridian Star

August 25, 2013

Heat doesn't hold back crowds supporting local deputies

By Terri Ferguson Smith / tsmith@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Well over a thousand people braved the heat and humidity on Saturday to honor and support two law enforcement officers who are battling cancer.

    Sheriff Billy Sollie of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department said the benefit for Dep. Hubert "Sarge" Rivers and Dep. Sgt. Thomas Robinson was a huge success.

    Northeast Park on Newell Road was the setting for the event, which included live music, vendors, raffles, fire department demonstrations, and vehicle extrication competitions by emergency responders

    "This is what community is about, people coming out here in the heat, in August to say, 'Hey, we are here. What can we do?' It's a great feeling," Sollie said.

"All the bad things you hear about society and evil people, then you have this kind of crowd showing up and saying 'We don't know you but we appreciate what you've done and we're here to honor you."

    Money raised during the benefit will go to help both Rivers and Robinson pay for medical expenses.

    The Rivers and Robinson Car Show and Vehicle Extravaganza included more than 70 vehicles on display, Sollie said.

    "The car show was a big hit. The parking lot was full of very beautiful cars, trucks, motorcycles," he said. "We had a steady influx of people coming in."

    The benefit also featured a lineup of local volunteers for the dunking booth, including Sollie. Some children stayed cool under a light spray of water provided by volunteer firemen.