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‘I can’t believe it’: Event raises $50K for Forsyth County detective recovering from liver transplant
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The Forsyth County Fire Department raises the American flag during the Family Fun Day Fundraiser event on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the Cumming Fairgrounds. - photo by Ben Hendren

Hundreds of Forsyth County residents came together at the Cumming Fairgrounds on Saturday to show their support for Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Detective Drue Green, who is currently recovering after a receiving a life-saving liver transplant in early March.

During the event, which featured food, music, demonstrations and a fleet of different first responder and law enforcement vehicles, residents and local businesses raised nearly $50,000 for Green and his family and the sheriff’s office’s B.A.D.G.E. program, according to Forsyth County Sherriff Ron Freeman.

Green and his wife, Kristen, said that they were overwhelmed by the love and support the community has shown them over the last months and shocked to see the droves of people that came out on Saturday.

"It's humbling, I can't believe it,” Drue Green said. “I've never been one to expect or ask for help. It's really humbling to see this many people care."

“Words can’t describe,” Kristen Green said. “You just don't expect this, and you just see how big the community actually is.”

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Ali, left, and Melissa Palmer, with their son, Bennett, enjoy the festivities at Family Fun Day Fundraiser on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the Cumming Fairgrounds. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Kids watch a law enforcement demonstration during the Family Fun Day Fundraiser event on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the Cumming Fairgrounds to raise money for the family of Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Detective Drue Green, who recently had a liver transplant. - photo by Ben Hendren

The event’s goal was to raise $25,000, Freeman said, but little more than an hour into the festivities, a local business owner came to him with a check for $25,000, blowing that goal out of the water.

"I was speechless," Freeman said.

According to Freeman, 100 percent of the money raised by the event will go to help the Green family as they recover and towards the next crisis faced by a Forsyth County first responder.

"Unfortunately, there will be another challenge at some point … and Forsyth County, as they always do, will come out and come out big," Freeman said. "I say it all the time, we're blessed to have the kind of support we have from Forsyth County, and it just proves it again and again every time you see something like this.”

Two community members, Ali and Melissa Palmer, who attended the event with their 2-year-old son, said that as the family of both veterans and law enforcement, it was important to come and support the Green family.

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A Forsyth County Sheriff's Office K9 unit performs a demonstration at the Family Fun Day Fundraiser event on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the Cumming Fairgrounds to support Detective Drue Green who recently had a liver transplant. - photo by Ben Hendren

"A lot of us are feeling certain things about how we can be a community and help each other, but sometimes it's not as impactful as doing something, taking action,” Ali Palmer said. “So, spending your precious free time on the weekends with your family, contributing monetarily, that's all very powerful, and when you have a connection it’s extra special.”

Palmer said that it was also important for them to set an example for their son, Bennett, of how a community takes care of its own.

"We want him to see that and mimic it, so he takes that back to his friends and learns to do it himself when he grows up,” he said.

Though Green underwent a very serious transplant and has had some ups and downs to his recovery, Freeman said that all signs point towards the detective making a full recovery.

“He's got a long road ahead, but at this point from all descriptions from his family and the doctors he's on track for recovery," he said. "So, we're just praying that it continues on that road, God blesses that family and we see him back to work in six months."