Approximately $4,200 collected for injured officer
The family of injured motorcycle officer Damien Garcia is now $4,200 closer to putting Garcia’s 7-year-old daughter through college, or to fulfilling other monetary obligations they might have.
That is because of the efforts of Garcia’s friend and avid motorcyclist Dave Lawler, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33 and the giving nature of Garcia’s community.
Saturday, motorcyclists rumbled through Cape Coral with purpose and kinship in their hearts; they rode on behalf of Garcia, and each had donated their money and time to show their support.
The event was a fund raiser planned by Lawler with the help of the FOP, which ended at GEO’s Italian Restaurant on Pine Island Road.
Officers gathered again with Lawler Thursday as he presented the FOP with a check for about $4,200.
“His family is very grateful for this event, for the community coming together,” said Cape Coral police Sgt. Robert Wardrop. “It means a lot to them, and to us also.”
The check will be deposited into a “special needs account” opened at TIB Bank.
“We’re very positive,” Wardrop said. “Our prayers our continuing.”
Lawler said the outcome of the fundraiser exceeded his expectations, and is heartened by the amount of support.
“The day of the ride, I couldn’t even believe how many people showed up,” Lawler said.
“I was dumfounded. I turned around and just saw bikes wrapped around the building. It was more than I could ask for.”
Lawler, a friend of Garcia’s and a fellow motorcyclist, felt compelled to help Garcia’s family by organizing the fund raiser.
“Damien’s been a good friend of mine for the past two years,” he said. “He’s a super, super great guy. When this accident happened, it just felt like something I had to do.”
His outlook on Garcia’s recovery is a positive one.
“He’s doing a lot better,” Lawler said. “Progress is slow, but we’re just happy he’s alive.”
Another fund raiser on behalf of Garcia will be held Saturday at Lowes Home Improvement Center on Pine Island Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The benefit will include a dunk tank, classic car show, Cape Coral Fire Department truck display and raffles, according to city spokesperson Connie Barron.
The store will also collect money through a bucket drive.