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2023 Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefit Termed a Success

By Tim Gardner

The twelfth annual (2023) Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefit held on Saturday, September 16 at the Crossnore First Baptist Church Family Center in the Crossnore Township of Avery County was termed a success by its coordinator.

As in each of the previous such events, proceeds were given to particular Avery County community members in need. There was no set cost to attend, but donations were accepted at the door that covered music, food and drink. Additionally, there was plenty of fellowship with others, which is the norm at every Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefit. 

Money from this year’s event was given to three individuals stricken with major health misfortunes—Trina Cook, Eddie Hughes, and Jessie Benfield—to be used to pay on their massive medical bills.

The Memorial Benefit honors Avery County native Wayne Benfield’s life, legacy, and his passion for helping people in need.  It is hosted by his family and friends.

“My husband loved to help people–regardless how they needed help,” said Teresa Benfield, the event’s coordinator, Wayne’s widow, and Avery County Clerk of Superior Court.  “I wanted to carry on his tradition, as does the rest of our family.  According to the Bible, we should give unto others, especially those in dire need. That’s what our Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefits are all about.”

Teresa Benfield said this year’s Memorial Benefit raised $7,953.00 that was divided between Cook, Hughes, and Jessie Benfield.

“It was a very good one,” she declared.

This year’s Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefit featured live music from local groups Redeemed and the Boone & Church Band, both of whom were very popular with those attending.

Food served at the event each year has often included smoked pork, smoked chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, Teresa Benfield’s macaroni and cheese, and desserts.  Various drinks, including soft drinks, tea, and coffee are also available.  

All food items are donated. 

A silent auction with various items also donated by local businesses and others is annually held during the Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefit as well. All proceeds received from the silent action are also given to the medical patients or others in need that it benefits that particular year.

Teresa Benfield estimated that between $65,000.00 to $70,000.00 has been raised during the Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefit’s twelve years of existence. 

She added that she was married to Wayne for 31-plus years. He loved to sing gospel music and play his rhythm guitar to each song he sang.  Those who knew him best will attest that he had his priorities in order as he loved foremost God, and his family, home, and church.

“Wayne was a very good man. He helped more people than I could list, and people loved him,” Teresa Benfield noted. “I’m blessed to be his wife and I’ll keep his legacy going strong through the Memorial Benefit every year as long as I possibly can.  It is held every third Saturday in September and the plan is for it to continue to be held in the Crossnore First Baptist Church Community Center. I hope others will remember to attend it each year and join us for good music, food, and fellowship, and most importantly to help support people in need!”

For further details about the Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefit or to make donations any time throughout the year to this worthy cause, call Teresa Benfield at (828) 442-2960.