Amherst Co. Community Raises $13,000 for Sheriff's Office Captain Fighting Cancer

Amherst Co., VA - Hundreds of people came out to Amherst County High School Sunday to support a man battling stage four cancer. Captain Gerald Higginbotham has been supporting his community for decades, now residents are stepping in to support him.The lines were long as people waited to give donations to help support Captain Higginbotham Sunday. Higginbotham is the Captain of the Investigations Department at the Amherst Sheriff's Office. Although he is battling multiple cancers, he says he feels blessed to have the support and company of so many. "I didn't know I had this many friends. Enemies maybe, friends, no," Higginbotham said. Crowds swarmed Amherst County High School to eat great food, enjoy music and check out the cars. All of the fun helped to benefit a man who's served the community his entire life. "He's just been a mentor to all the young officers that come up and trained us and he's always been there for questions or any problem solving, stuff like that, he's just always been there for us, and we just wanted to show him our love and support," explained E.W. Viar with the Amherst Sheriff's Department. The men came together to plan a special event in Higginbotham's honor. They say they couldn't have done it without the community's support and the many volunteers. "To show all the love and support that the community's come and just showed how much they think of him and it just brings the community closer together I think," Viar said. For Higginbotham, the effort couldn't mean more. "My heart is filled with thankfulness for all these people that are my friends," Higginbotham said. Higginbotham has served 42 years with the Sheriff's Office. It's a lifetime of work that turned friends into family. "They've all been great, been very supportive of me through this whole ordeal," Higginbotham said. The support is what keeps him going he says. "I just kind of lost words, I just never imagined it to be like this," Debra Higginbortham said. "I'm just asking that you keep me in your thoughts and prayers, that's where I get my strength," Higginbotham said, referring to his faith. The fundraiser was a great success. The Sheriff's Office says they raised more than $13,000 for Captain Higginbotham.