• 57°

Chicken sold out for Durr benefit – Donations still needed, requested

It’s too late to purchase tickets to the chicken plate benefit for the William Durr Family Insurance Fund, but the man who will be barbecuing the birds Friday hopes those who didn’t buy lunch will still make donations.

Billy Boykin, a salesman with Terry Service of Ridgeland, said he didn’t know Durr, a deputy with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office who was killed May 27 during a call, but he wanted to get involved because it was the right thing to do.

Terry Service is a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system company that does work for the county.

For those who pre-purchased tickets, plates will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in front of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 215 Justice St. Boykin said he isn’t surprised the 300 tickets sold prior to the event.

“If it’s for the right cause, people don’t mind giving,” he said. “We’re the most giving state in the whole world.”

The money raised through the ticket sales and donations will go into an insurance fund for Durr’s widow and son so that the payments on Durr’s insurance will continue.

By law, the county cannot maintain insurance coverage for a spouse and dependent of a deceased county employee beyond the end of the month in which the employee died. In Durr’s case, the end of that month was May 31.

The county is accepting donations from anyone who would like to contribute to help cover the cost of health insurance premiums for the family. COBRA — Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation — allows insurance to be offered to spouses and dependents, but the county cannot cover the cost of COBRA coverage.

Donations will be accepted at the pick-up line Friday, in the sheriff’s office and at County Administrator David Field’s office in the Lincoln County Government Complex. Checks should be made out to Lincoln County for the Durr Family Insurance Fund.

An account has been established at Trustmark National Bank to help provide financially for the family as well. Donations can be made at any Brookhaven Trustmark branch. Donations to that fund, however, are not specifically to pay the insurance premiums.

Durr’s family will eventually receive compensation through state and federal programs and life insurance.

“There are life insurance policies for officers killed in the line of duty. Workers’ compensation, state and federal benefits that will help the family,” Fields said last month. “The state doesn’t give us, the county, authority to pay for any family. Whether it’s law enforcement or not, we don’t have the authority to spend the money on something like what happened to Officer Durr. We definitely would like to but we just don’t have the authority.”