Saturday’s Wichita Wagonmasters chili feed, designed to raise money for injured Wichita police Officer Brian Arterburn, turned out even better than its organizers anticipated.
The group raised $25,000 and counting, and on Monday, it learned that Hutton Construction had pledged to match up to $10,000 of any money it raised.
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The pot will continue to grow, said Bill Ramsey, one of the Wagonmasters who helped organize the event. People have until March 11 to buy $20 raffle tickets for large prizes, including a painting and a signed Shockers basketball. Tickets are available at all local uBreakiFix stores, at Bullseye Shooting Range at 1455 N. Terrace, and at Range 54 at 5725 E. Kellogg.
The Wagonmasters estimate that about 2,500 people attended the chili feed, which was staged in front of the Warren Theatre Old Town on Saturday afternoon.
Hutton Construction is the second local company to offer a large donation to the fund-raising efforts. Last week, movie theater magnate Bill Warren donated $5,000 to the Honore Adversis Foundation, the organization handling the donations for Arterburn.
Arterburn was run over by a fleeing suspect in a stolen SUV on Feb. 7 and remains hospitalized.
"We can't express our excitement and gratitude with Hutton Construction stepping up to match funds and encouraging other businesses to do the same,” Ramsey said. “They were very generous, and they hope to inspire others to take up the cause."