Fundraising for officers' families

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by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on December 8, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 8 at 11:41 PM

The familiar ring of the Salvation Army took on a different tone. This year, two kettles at the annual celebrity bell ringing event collected donations for the families of the four fallen Lakewood police officers.

"Just in any little way. It may not seem like much, but it warms your heart especially this time of year," said Jennifer Dergarabedian whose 5-year-old son Keegan dropped a $5 bill in the kettle.

It's one of hundreds of ways people are trying to give back to families who have lost so much.

The Shoreline Fire Department hosted Police and State Patrol officers for a pizza feed and fundraiser. Sgt. David Rainey says he'd left the LAPD because he was tired of going to police officer funerals. And now this. But today's gathering is food for the soul.

"It's a hard job that we have, but we all do it. When something tragic like this happens it really helps us feel good to see the community's gratitude for what we do," said Rainey.

Inside the collection box sits $4,000, not counting the money Papa John's is donating for the pizzas - all of it benefitting the families of the Lakewood four.

At the Lakewood Ivar's every bowl of chowder serves up more money for the officers' families. And outside, blue light specials and a long line of people who want to wear their support, 1000 custom-embroidered hats bearing the Lakewood PD logo.

"It really wasn't so much about the hat, the hat is a symbol to remind me of what this day brought," said Shirley McNeil.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Papa John's locations in Western Washington are donating all of their proceeds to the families. They projected they'd sell three to four times the number of pizzas they sell on an average day. By noon today, they had surpassed that projection.

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