Friends plan to help Preston

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2000

Richburg Saturday


Features Editor

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Jan. 29, 2000 11 PM

Preston Richburg has always been there for those in need.

Now, it is time to help him, said Danny Rolling, who is heading a benefit for Richburg beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Petrey Community Center.

Richburg, the owner of Circle "S" Diner in Goshen, was paralyzed as a result of a fall Nov. 1.

He had two surgeries at Baptist Medical Center in Montgomery and is undergoing physical therapy at Spain Rehabilitation Center in Birmingham.

"Preston has so many friends who are concerned about him and we all wanted to do something for him," said Rolling, who met Richburg when he was a salesman for a food service that served his restaurant. "I have never known anyone who is more dedicated to his community than Preston. He loves the people and I believe he would do anything for anybody in need. I can’t see him turning anybody with a legitimate need down."

Richburg was a Boy Scout leader for years and a strong support of the band and athletic programs at Goshen High School. The GHS football teams have their pregame meals at the Circle "S" and the restaurant is the place for fans to meet and eat before games.

Some say the Circle "S" serves the same purpose as the pot bellied stove. Everyone gathers there for the warmth of friendship and joy of fellowship.

"I’m not sure if people go there to eat or just to be with friends and Preston and Patti," Rolling said.

Since Richburg’s accident, there has been a void at the restaurant. "Everybody misses Preston. He is everybody’s friend and we wanted to help but we didn’t know exactly how."

Rolling said he thought about a benefit to help with the medical expenses and mentioned it to Richburg several times.

"At first, he thanked me but said, no. Even though he has insurance, I knew it had to be getting expensive. Patty was staying up there as much as possible and coming home to take care of things at the restaurant. I told him he has done for his friends and now we want to do for him."

Finally, Richburg told Rolling he had already had to go into his savings and that he would be very appreciative of their help.

Rolling and his wife Lisa began to make plans for a benefit to show Preston and Patti Richburg how much they are loved and how important they are to the community.

The fundraiser, "Friends Helping Friends," will feature live entertainment, a cake auction and concessions.

Entertainers who have pledged their talents to the benefit to date are the Sipper Family, Rick Sipper, comedian Storyline Tom and Lisa Rolling, Brandon and Brandy. Others are expected to perform.

There will be a message box so that Richburg’s friends can drop in cards and let him know they are thinking about him and praying for him.

"Preston has a disability and he could have gone on disability years ago and let the government take care of him but he didn’t do that," Rolling said. "He chose instead to work for a living and be an active part of his community. He has done so much for everybody else. It’s easy to want to help someone like that."

There is no admission charge to the benefit. A donation box to benefit Richburg will be available. Friends are encouraged to help a friend.