The big response to a fundraiser to help seriously injured Arkansas State Police Cpl. Clayton McWilliams was so overwhelming that it created chills, Arden Fire Chief Richard Bowman said.
The event Jan. 12 at the Ashdown, Ark., High School raised $55,000 to help pay the trooper's medical bills.
McWilliams is being treated at the University of Arkansas Medical Science Hospital in Little Rock.
"It was a great turnout and more than expected. It was very touching. It gave us chills," said Bowman, who was one of the organizers. The other organizers are Arden Assistant Fire Chief Johnny Brown and Arden firefighters Justin and Jenny Cooper.
McWilliams lives in the Arden community in Little River County, and "it warmed our hearts knowing the people who showed up," Bowman said.
Besides items auctioned off and chili dinners, people donated blood, he said.
A Belgian Malinois police dog was one of the items auctioned off, Bowman said. "A helicopter ride was donated and purchased. There was things auctioned off I never thought of," he said.
"People reached out to donate from everywhere," Bowman said.
McWilliams was injured Jan. 3 in a single-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 71, north of Wilton.
He remains in intensive care in the Little Rock hospital.
For information on how to contribute, call Bowman at 870-648-6281.