Sunday, 05 January 2020 20:01

Double Vision hosts benefit for Bowden family

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Chuck Bowden worked security and behind the bar at Double Vision. A benefit was held to help his family following a fatal Christmas Eve wreck. Chuck Bowden worked security and behind the bar at Double Vision. A benefit was held to help his family following a fatal Christmas Eve wreck. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The parking lot of Double Vision was packed with vehicles Sunday afternoon, but the people weren’t there to watch the football game.

They were there to honor the late Chuck Bowden and raise money for his family — especially the two daughters left behind when he was killed in a wreck on Christmas Eve.

“I couldn’t imagine waking up without my daddy on Christmas,” bar owner Richard Robinson said, fighting back tears.

In addition to working for the Richmond County Water Department, Bowden also worked security and behind the bar at Double Vision.

“You can’t find a replacement for him,” said Robinson. “He was just awesome.”

Robinson said he had known Bowden since he was 12 years old.

“You just don’t find people like Chuck anymore,” he added. “If everybody was like Chuck, you wouldn’t have this craziness we have in the world.”

The east side parking lot featured a variety of cars, trucks and motorcycles for a cruise-in, which were awarded prizes based on the crowd’s favorites.

The front parking lot was the site of a cornhole tournament, with three sets of teams squaring off, tossing bean bags over the asphalt.

Inside the bar, tables were set up with food donated by Caddy’s, Bojangle’s, Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q, Papa John’s Pizza and Pizza Hut, and Los Mariachis Mexican Bar and Grill; as well as a variety of items from local businesses to be raffled off.

Between the raffle tables, a small round table was cordoned off with a pack of American Spirit cigarettes and a bottle of Bud Light underneath Bowden’s staff shirt, which hung on the wall.

“It was an outpouring of generosity,” said Evan Carville. “It’s overwhelming how many people have just opened up their arms, showing respect and love for the family.”

Robinson said they started talking about the event on Monday and began soliciting donations on Wednesday.

“I can’t thank the community enough for the stuff they did,” he said.

The winner of the 50/50 raffle donated the $318 winnings to the family.

Near the front door sait a silver 2006 Johnny Pag 250cc motorcycle, which will be raffled off within the coming weeks, with the money going toward the family.

Wes Grant said they’re hoping to bring in at least $2,500 from that raffle.

“There’s no way for me to express … the humbleness, the love, the kindness,” said Bowden’s father, Larry Bowden. “And what’s happened out here today is such a tribute to Chuck that it’s unbelievable … it just means so much to us.”

Robinson said he plans to hold a similar event annually and establish a scholarship in Bowden’s memory at Richmond Community College.

“We just want his name to live on forever.”