By Morgan Bryce
The Auburn-Opelika area is rallying behind officer Justin Sanders with two major fundraising events during the month of March.
Sanders, a member of the Auburn Police Department, was shot and injured during a traffic stop of a robbery in Auburn on Feb. 15.
Since the shooting, the community has to come to the aid of the Sanders family, launching a GoFundMe that exceeded its $25,000 goal within the first four days of its posting.
Following are details on each event, based on chronological order.
“Pancake Benefit Breakfast” – (Please Bold This)
Niffer’s Place’s Auburn location will be hosting a pancake benefit breakfast March 9 from 7 to 10 a.m.
Meal tickets will be available at all three Niffer’s locations in Auburn, Lake Martin and Opelika or online at www.niffersplace.com/pancakebreakfast, and will cost $10 each. Breakfast will consist of a stack of pancakes, sausage and choice of coffee, fountain drink or juice to drink.
Those who purchase tickets will also be automatically entered into a raffle for a $200 Niffer’s gift card. All ticket sales will be given directly to Sanders’ family.
For more information, call 334-821-3118, like and follow the restaurant’s social media pages or visit www.niffersplace.com.
“Back the Blue: Benefit for Justin Sanders”
Opelika resident Billy Walls is the mastermind of “Back the Blue: Benefit for Justin Sanders” March 24 at Waverly’s Ruffin Farms.
Lasting from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the event will feature food and music from some of the area’s best local artists and bands.
Walls, a volunteer fireman with the Huguley Fire Department in Lanett, said he sees the event as a way to help Sanders and his family cover some of their expenses and pay honor to the sacrifice of a first responder who put himself in harm’s way.
“This guy was a first responder who put his life on the line every single day and I just felt the need to step up and do something to repay him for his service,” Walls said.
All proceeds will be donated to the Auburn Police Department, which they will present later to Sanders and his family.
No food trucks have been announced yet but following is a full musical lineup for the event, subject to change until March 24.
11 – 11:30 a.m. – Clay Ammous
11:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. – TJ Arwood
12:10 – 1:10 p.m. – Kyle Wilson
1:15 – 2:15 p.m. – Jessie Wilson
2:20 – 3:20 p.m. – Daniel and McDaniel
3:25 – 4:30 p.m. – Ashley Walls Band
4:35 – 5:35 p.m. – Mardee Brooks and Junior
5:40 – 6:40 p.m. – Ben Sutton
6:45 – 7:45 p.m. – Brandon Holden
7:50 – 8:50 p.m. – Chris Posey, Tony Brook, Dallas Dorsey and Matt Cain
8:55 – 9:55 p.m. – 4 Daze Dead.
The venue is located at 3085 County Road 86 in Waverly. Alcohol will not be allowed on the premises during the event.