MONROE — President of CrimeStoppers Reid Helms expressed his appreciation for the community and the outpouring of support they displayed at the annual barbeque fundraiser on Friday, Jan. 15, at the Union County Agriculture Center.

Helms was not expecting the level of support he received. In fact, he assumed because the barbeque was a drive thru this year that it would not garner the same crowd of over 1,000 people like it has in the past; therefore, he ordered far less barbeque to sell. However, people came in droves — ticket or no ticket.

“I was impressed,” Helms said. “Beyond the measures of thank you for people coming out and supporting a good cause that we want to continue.”

People who purchased a ticket, but did not receive barbeque, donated the money to CrimeStoppers.

An hour and a half after opening the line at 11 a.m., all of the barbeque had been distributed. This was the first year that the barbeque had been a drive thru instead of a banquet event.

“If we have to do it again, we might order a little bit more barbeque,” Helms said. “We didn’t realize we’d have that many drive thrus with no tickets.”

Helms said with donations included, CrimeStoppers made “in excess” of $20,000 from the barbeque.

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the annual barbeque. Helms said the barbeque will continue as it has in the past, should the coronavirus pandemic have passed by then.

CrimeStoppers is a non-profit organization that aids law enforcement agencies by allowing people to provide anonymous tips that lead to an arrest in exchange for a monetary reward.