Fundraiser for Trooper Wooten is major success, 100 percent of proceeds go to him and family

Updated: Oct. 2, 2019 at 6:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A fundraiser for State Trooper Chris Wooten turned out to be major success after months of planning. Wooten was seriously injured after a crash in the line of duty. Thankfully, he’s alive but is paralyzed from the neck down. Fellow troopers organized a fundraiser in his honor where 100 percent of the proceeds will go to him and his family.

WBTV is told the money raised will go towards medical costs, including the rehab center in Atlanta where he’s currently adjusting to life in a wheelchair. The money will also help renovate his home to make it wheelchair-accessible.

Retired trooper David Ferguson spent the morning running around Ray Nathan’s Barbecue in Gastonia. The restaurant is only open certain days of the week so they agreed to the fundraiser being held on one of their closed days. They also donated nearly 9,000 plates of barbecue sandwiches.

Ferguson is friends with Wooten and wanted to do something to help his friend and fellow trooper.

“He has to have two special wheelchairs made, one for inside and one for outside," said Ferguson. "He can only move from the neck up.”

The community wanted to help too and showed their support by buying thousands of barbecue sandwiches.

“They’re going to sell a lot of barbecue and raise a lot of money," said Kim Price, who spent his lunch hour at Ray Nathan’s. “He gave so much to us, we can give back to him.”

The total of proceeds raised isn’t final yet, but organizers told WBTV before the fundraiser even started, there were 1,500 pre-orders for barbecue plates.

Dozens of other law enforcement agencies and first responders also came to the fundraiser to support their fellow law enforcement officer, saying supporting each other through the good and the bad is just what they do.

“We’re out here today to support one of our own, as well as his family and friends," said North Carolina State Trooper, Chris Agner.

“He was out there trying to help the community when he was injured, and people who don’t even know him are coming up saying thank you for the job you do," said Ferguson.

If you’d like to donate to the Wooten family, there is a GoFundMe set up to help with medical costs.