WAYNE CO., Ill. (WEHT) — With pork chops and all the fixins’, they came to Cisne to support the family of Deputy Sean Riley.
To show their support Saturday, the Bedford Township Fire District held a drive-thru benefit dinner to raise money for his family. Chief Josh Smith says he got the idea to host the benefit after he learned of Riley’s death. Smith says Riley was far more than a deputy in Wayne County: he was a friend and a neighbor. Smith says people would see Riley and be “instantly drawn to him.”
Smith says Riley’s impact on the community was reflected in the turnout for the benefit, calling it “overwhelming.”
Melanie Brookman, a volunteer for the event, says coming to cook for the benefit was a personal mission.
“I always help out wherever I am needed. This was a little bit more personal. I am close friends with the family, so I’m like whatever that I need to do, that’s what will be done,” said Brookman.
She says they cooked enough to feed 2,300 people and everything was donation based and volunteer driven.
Among the thousands who came to the northern Wayne County community, Ben Churchill says he just wanted to show his support to Riley’s family and to first responders. Despite the tragedy, Churchill says it was beautiful to see the outpouring of support.