Luke Wayne Bennett is a fighting Stage 4 cancer. For years he was a road deputy but spent the end of his career at Central Academy Middle School as an School Resource Officer. He drove the bus taking middle school players to sporting events and really gave a ray of sunshine to many middle schoolers with his smile over the years as he greeted students coming in the building in the morning. Members of the Sheriff’s Department, Central Academy Middle School and Eagle Rock Fire and Rescue, other rescue squads and many community volunteers manned the event. However it was the but many , many people who came out to support a retired deputy and school resource officer on Saturday August 27 that helped him with many donated funds for cancer treatment.
Bennett’s Daughter Kelly Nipper walked through the crowd all day with her 6 week old daughter, Chloe. A photo on the table of Bennett holding the baby was a touching reminder why he is fighting so hard and the organizers were doing so much to help a retired deputy who spent a great deal of his life in service to others.
Riders from all over– those who know him and many who did not, showed up for the Poker Run 156 riders on motorcycles roared out of the parking lot at the VFW on Roanoke Road all through the morning. By afternoon, Sheriff’s Department reps and school administrators fired up grills for the hot dog dinner.
The weather looked threatening all day as the western most tip of Hurricane Irene filled the skies. However, most bikers recalled little rain except near Eagle Rock. Eddie Clark who was instrumental in organizing the day said, “It is a good day. People have really turned out in support of Luke.”
Indeed they 800 hot dogs, raffles, 50-50 and general donations certainly filled the bill. Jeff Stritesky also one of the organizers drove off with a group of off duty and retired deputies as the men and women supported their own. Matt Ward kept the food flowing to the many diners along with Fincastle Rescue Squad and county squad members. The Eagle Rock contingent served the food as well. The event will be recalled for a long time as a day when people came together to help a good man out.