Black Mountain locals host benefit for family of deceased firefighter

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Locals held a drive-thru benefit on Sept. 25 for the family of Garrett Presnell.

Black Mountain locals and members of the fire department hosted a benefit on Sept. 25 for the family of Garrett Presnell, a firefighter in town who died due to complications with COVID-19. 

Eddie Colley, the proprietor of local real estate agency Cottonwood Properties, organized the fundraising event. 

"We thought, 'Let's do a benefit,'" Colley said. "Let's flip some burgers, pre-package everything and have people just do a drive-by type thing."

Cottonwood was impacted by Presnell's death due to one of the employees, the wife of another Black Mountain firefighter. Colley and his wife Jessica quickly began organizing ways to help Presnell's family with the help of their co-worker. 

Colley said Cottonwood Properties made contributions to Presnell's family while the firefighter was still hospitalized prior to his death. He said these contributions helped the family complete bills and payments. 

"We started a GoFundMe page that we've been promoting, and I think we've raised about $5,600 so far," Colley said. 

According to Colley, the process for receiving benefits upon Presnell's death could take some time. The benefit aimed to provide immediate relief for the family, including his newly born daughter, while the state processes his death benefits. 

The organizers kept it simple, requesting a $10 donation and offering a packaged plate of hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Ingles, as well as other local businesses, donated enough food to feed at least 200 people. 

"I think history will kind of show if you invite 200 people, 150 might show up," Colley said. "If we got 200 people, at $10 that's another $2,000."