Community raises thousands of dollars for sheriff battling cancer

Community raises thousands of dollars for sheriff battling cancer

MELBOURNE, Ark. (KAIT) - Hundreds of people gathered Saturday to show their support and raise money for Izard County Sheriff Ernie Blackley who is battling stage 4 lung cancer.

The benefit in Melbourne kicked off with a BBQ dinner, followed by a live auction of donated items from businesses and county residents.

At one point, the number of people in attendance was over 1,000.

It was a number Sheriff Blackley couldn't believe.

"I never dreamed that there would be this many people here," said Blackley.

The benefit raised well over $60,000 and the sheriff’s department is still receiving donations.

Sheriff Blackley has received two chemotherapy treatments at UAMS in Little Rock, and is expected to go back for another treatment later this month.

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