On Saturday, June 22, Bluebonnet News reported that the fundraiser for Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Whitten had raised $105,100 to help Whitten and his family as he recovers from a gunshot wound he suffered while attempting to arrest a murder suspect on May 29 in Cleveland. Of that tally, which is not final as more donations are still coming in, $5,000 was donated by the Multi-County Crime Stoppers organization, which includes Liberty, San Jacinto and Montgomery counties.
To say the fundraiser was an overwhelming success is an understatement, said Capt. Ken DeFoor, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.
“Ms. [Kami] Whitten sent her deep appreciation to the Multi-County Crime Stoppers Board of Directors for their most generous donation, which will help greatly in addressing mounting medical bills as well as making their home more handicapped accessible. The entire Whitten family continues to be amazed and appreciative of the public’s support, encouragement and many thoughts and prayers that have helped them endure and deal with this daily life changing tragedy,” DeFoor said. “At present, Deputy Whitten remains in Memorial Hermann Hospital while his medical issues are being addressed by the medical staff.”
The benefit was hosted by Jack Wieghat, co-owner of Trinity Armory in Cleveland, organized by dozens of Whitten’s friends and law enforcement peers, and was supported by a barbecue cook-off with plates for sale, a car show and motorcycle poker run, live music and several other events.
While attendance was expected to be around 1,500 people, DeFoor said, “The attendance exceeded 4,000 big-hearted members of the public who helped consume over 800 pounds of barbecue before noon and was most generous with both the live and silent auctions.”
DeFoor added that Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader extends his sincere appreciation to the public on behalf of the sheriff’s office and the Whitten family.