LUMBERTON — Two law enforcement officers will be shown support this weekend with fundraisers organized by their brothers and sisters in blue.
On Saturday, the Blue Wave Movement, a local group formed to support of law enforcement officers, has scheduled a fundraiser event for Rowland Police Department Officer Michael Sale, who was assaulted while on duty in October. The event will take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rowland Rural Fire Department, located at 401 N. Bond St.
The event originally was to take place at the Rowland Police Department, but was moved to provide more space for attendees to social distance, Rowland police Chief Hubert Graham said.
Graham was speaking Friday afternoon with Athena Hucks, Robeson County sheriff’s deputy and member of the Blue Wave Movement, to put a bow on final planning for the fundraiser.
“There’s been a lot of support from people around town and outside of town,” Graham said.
Officer Sale was assaulted twice within a 10-month span. He was attacked Oct. 16 as he responded to a disturbance call at Benton Court. This came after a Dec. 28 attack when Sale served on the Maxton Police Department and was responding to a call at the Minit Shop, located at 207 Middle St. in Maxton.
Sale returned to his first full day of work Monday after initially returning for light duty earlier this month, Graham said.
Vendors selling jewelry, shirts and other items promoting law enforcement will be present, Hucks said. And separate raffles will be held for cakes and a shotgun. There is no admission fee, but there is a $50 vendor fee.
All proceeds will be given to Sale to help cover medical expenses or loss of pay, Graham said.
In a separate event Sunday, members of the public and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office will show their support in a motorcycle/car ride to raise money for a deputy who is battling lung cancer.
The event is to start at 2 p.m. at C&P Mini Mart on Union Chapel Road in Pembroke. The ride will end at Restoration Assembly, located at 9422 N.C. 710 N. in Red Springs, where deputy Patrick Locklear will be seated.
Cars, trucks and motorcycles can participate in the ride. The cost to enter the ride is $10 for single motorcycle riders, $15 for double riders and $20 for each car or truck that enters.
Money raised will help Locklear’s family pay his medical expenses. Locklear was diagnosed recently with Stage IV small cell lung cancer.
Though he has worked at the Sheriff’s Office for about eight months, the support he has felt has been tremendous, Locklear said.
He and his family are “so humbled, honored and grateful” for the help of the Sheriff’s Office, the deputy said.
“[T]he Robeson County Sheriff’s Department stepped in without any hesitation from the very beginning, with putting together these fundraising efforts … and it makes me even more proud to be a part of the Blueline Brotherhood. It’s not just a ‘phrase,’” Locklear wrote in a statement.
Locklear said he is encouraged daily by calls, messages or visits from his friends, fellow church members and the Sheriff’s Office.
“With all the challenges 2020 has brought to our family, our blue line family, our country, our county, our community … God, prayers, love and the huge hearts of those around us are truly helping us through this trying diagnosis in countless ways!” Locklear wrote.
“I can’t wait to be back, and it makes me want to fight this disease even more!” he added.
Sheriff Burnis Wilkins also shared words of gratitude for the collective effort.
“It is really heartwarming to see the community come together for Deputy Patrick and his family is this time need. I am beyond grateful and ask that everyone continue to pray for this family,” Wilkins said.
The Sheriff’s Office also is holding a raffle for a 65-inch TV and a Yeti cooler. Tickets are $1 each and can be bought at the Sheriff’s Office at 120 Legend Road. The drawing will be held Dec. 5. Participants need not be present to win.