Cookout raises $8,300 for Rowan sheriff detective from Albemarle

Photo shows Rowan deputies cooking for the fundraiser. Image provided by RCSO.

ALBEMARLE — A cookout hosted by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, Sept. 23 has raised $8,300 for one of their deputies, Brian Benfield of Albemarle. Benfield was hospitalized with a serious case of COVID-19 that has required extensive treatment.  

Major John Sifford of the RCSO told SCJ that the cookout was very well attended, with around 800 people attending during the 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. event. During this time, the RCSO sold around 600 sausage biscuits and 400 hotdogs.  

Sifford said there were also “numerous people stopping by and giving donations to assist Detective Benfield” without purchasing any food.  

In a statement released to SCJ, Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten stated that “The RCSO is very thankful for the support of the community for their support of Detective Benfield as he battles each day to recover from this serious illness!” 

Benfield contracted COVID-19 more than a month ago and has been struggling with serious symptoms. According to the Salisbury Post, his wife and son also contracted the illness but have since recovered.  

“Brian is still in the hospital, but continues to improve, and is making progress toward being released,” Sifford told SCJ on Sept 27.  

Sifford added that “Anyone interested in making a donation toward Brian’s medical bills can bring a check or cash by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.” The office is located at 232 N. Main, Salisbury, NC. He said another option is that “They can mail a check made out to Brian Benfield, and mail it to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, C/O Major John Sifford 232 N. Main, Salisbury, NC  28144.”