Friends organize benefit for Poplin
By B.J. Drye
A man who friends and family say has always chipped in to help others now finds himself in need of assistance.
A benefit for Gavin Poplin will be from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the Stanly County Fairgrounds, 24302 U.S. Highway 52 Business, Albemarle.
Poplin, 56, who grew up in Albemarle and now lives in Mt. Pleasant, is battling prostate cancer and all proceeds from the benefit will go to his medical care.
A meal includes spaghetti, salad, garlic bread and dessert. Cost is $8 for adults, $6 for children. The event also includes a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, cornhole, a jumpy house and music.
Teena Morgan, one of the event’s organizers, remembers growing up with Gavin in the Mill Hill area of Albemarle.
“Gavin and all of us would run the streets,” Morgan said. “Our parents would look after each other’s. Gavin was the type of guy that he would also look out for us if anyone became mischievous.”
She said his way of caring for others transferred into adulthood. She said he has helped feed families at Christmas, take up money for others in need and help with other benefits.
“He always has been that kind of person,” Morgan said. “He’s done so many of those [benefits] to help other people. You can always go up to Gavin and say, ‘We’ve got a benefit,’ and he’d say, ‘What can I do to help?’
“He’s always the first one to say, ‘I’m praying for you and your family. Call me,’ ” she added.
Sarah DeBerry, Gavin’s daughter, said her father has worked as a train engineer, a crane operator, in construction and as an auto mechanic.
Morgan added Gavin likes cookouts, bonfires and having friends and family over.
“I don’t know of anyone who has ever said anything bad about Gavin Poplin,” she said. “You mention his name and most people say, ‘Wow. He’s a great guy. He doesn’t deserve this.’
“He’s just an extraordinary guy who loves God, loves his family, loves his friends. He has many, many friends,” she added.
DeBerry said Gavin’s family includes a son, stepchildren and grandchildren.
“We just want to thank everybody,” DeBerry said. “We’ve had an outpouring of donations. The whole community has come together to bring this whole thing together and it’s just wonderful.”
Anyone with questions on the benefit or looking to donate can call Teena Morgan at (704) 550-1068, Jo Beth at (704) 322-2749, Jo Biggers at (704) 985-0935, Julie Crisco at (704) 438-2962 or Wendy Rummage at (919) 482-0420.
Have a story idea? Call B.J. Drye at (704) 982-2121 ext. 25, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow bjdrye1 on Twitter.