WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been about three weeks since Wichita police officer Brian Arterburn was placed in Via Christi hospital after being run over by a stolen vehicle. His family posted a picture on Facebook showing signs of improvement, but no release date has been set. In this last three weeks, the community has been rallying around Brian and his family to raise money for him and his family.
“Nobody can imagine how much we appreciate it,” said Larry Arterburn, Brian’s dad. “Brian is a very good person and he’s a really good police officer.”
These heartfelt words were in response to the enormous community response after hearing about his son. This last past weekend the Wagonmasters hosted a chili feed that raised $25,000 and they say they hope to do more.
“We are here to support Brian and the Wichita Police Department,” said Wagonmaster, Brad Fitts. ” We currently have a raffle going on with three large tickets items up for grabs. Hopefully, the raffle sells out so we can raise more.”
Wagonmaster Bill Ramsey says they put the event together in eight days, and he believes this is one of the largest events they’ve ever accomplished.
“Overwhelming is about all I can say,” said Wichita police officer Mike Tiday. “We’ve gone through some tough times as a police department in the past with tragedies that have happened around the county. Even when we’ve been down in the past, I’ve never seen the kind of support that we’ve had at a time like this.”
Overwhelming is just one of the words used to describe the community support that’s been shown to Brian and his family, and today, these efforts are proving to be the gift that keeps on giving. Local businessman, Ben Hutton, of Hutton Constructions, handed over a check for $10,000 to support Brian and the Wichita Police Department.
“We’re glad to support officer Arterburn and all of the Wichita Police Department for the great work they do in our community,” said Ben. “And his small check is just one way that we can do that.”
Ben tells us he hopes people continue to pay it forward to support Wichita police and Brian during this time. If you’re interested in donating or purchasing a Blue For Brian t-shirt you can do so by clicking here.