Barbecue raises thousands of dollars for fallen firefighter's fund

PINEVILLE, N.C. — Hundreds of people came to support Richard Sheltra and the Pineville Fire Department at the Annual First Responder BBQ on Thursday.

It was hosted by the Regency Retirement Living, in Pineville. Plates of barbecue were sold for $7. By 11 a.m., 300 plates were sold.

“It's great to show support for the families who've lost their biggest thing,” said Ashleigh Sullivan, who came out.

“It looks like the whole shift is here, and I’m actually picking up a few extra plates for everyone else at the PD,” Ryan Gladden, a patrol officer with Pineville Police Department, said.

Pineville Fire Chief Michael Gerin said the barbecue reached many people in the community.

“This barbecue is affecting all of Mecklenburg County, all the way down into South Carolina,” Gerin said.

Sheltra was a volunteer Pineville firefighter who died during a fire last month.

His family started the Richard Sheltra Memorial Fund in his honor.

The Pineville fire chief said all the money raised at the barbecue will go to the fund, which aims to help other firefighters.

"It is focused on life-saving equipment and training for firefighters, and that was something he was very passionate about, and it's an outstanding way to honor him,” Gerin said.

Pineville firefighters are the first responders to the Regency at Pineville retirement home.

The home has hosted this barbecue for four years, raising thousands of dollars each time.

This is the first time it'll go toward Richard Sheltra's Memorial Fund.

Sarah Privette, with Regency at Pineville, knew Sheltra.

“He just always had a great smile, a great laugh, and just so kind,” she said.

Privette said the retirement home is happy to support the Richard Sheltra Memorial Fund.

“We do an event with them at Christmas with Santa, and he's helped us with that. So it's a way for us to give back to him and his family for all they've done for us,” Privette said.

The Pineville Fire Department also sold T-shirts, which have Sheltra’s last name on the back.

In total, $5,686 was raised for the Richard Sheltra Memorial Fund.

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