Trooper Russell benefit lunch raises $2,300

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Even though many of the people who showed up don't know Lowell Russell or his family, they are still touched by what he's going through.

"It really hits home when it's a law enforcement officer who's there to help you at any time," said customer and Blount County Sheriff's Deputy Joni Seratt.

"You start kind of connecting the dots, like 'That could possibly be me.' And when it's a fellow trooper that you work with, it touches each one of us. We're like a family," added Trooper Joey Lindsay, who stopped by to show his support.

Another customer added, "This man was protecting us when he was hurt. Now he needs our support."

Russell's back injuries especially hit home for Peggy Campbell. Her daughter has scoliosis and a metal rod straightening her back.

"When I hear about back fusions, I know it's scary," she said.

That's why she and so many others chowed down on hot dogs, chili and cheese fries at Something Savory Bakery and Cafe.

"When they found out we were doing a fundraiser, the phones began to ring. People were wanting to know where they could make a donation," said owner Karen Zorio.

She thinks her business tripled a regular Thursday. All of the money, $2,300, will benefit Russell and his family.

If you'd still like to donate you can do that through the Fund for Lowell Russell at United Community Bank in Alcoa.

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