Thousands turned out in Fredericton for a community fundraising event in memory of three fallen Maritimes police officers.

The annual ‘Touch-A-Truck’ event is New Brunswick’s capital city is now in its eighth year and has raised over $100,000 to date.

Cst. Brandon Gaynor has been a fixture at Fredericton’s ‘Touch-A-Truck’ events these past few years, but he says this year is special.

“It tugs at the heartstrings a little bit more, knowing that people are coming out, maybe that haven’t before, because it’s going towards our fallen officers,” says Gaynor.

This is the eighth year for the Touch-A-Truck fundraiser, which lets kids check out all types of vehicles, including firetrucks and police cruisers.

It started as a fundraiser in memory of RCMP officer Sgt. Mark Gallagher who died while on a United Nations Humanitarian Mission in Haiti during the January 2010 earthquake.

This year, the funds raised are being split between three different organizations; the school in Haiti, along with memorial funds for Fredericton Police Constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, the two officers who were killed in the shooting in Fredericton last summer.

That connection is especially poignant given Constable Costello had a special connection to the Touch-A-Truck events.

“Robb has been a volunteer at Touch-A-Truck for at least five of the years that we’ve done it,” says organizer Jaime Watson. “In fact, he was one of the first people to sign on to volunteer at the event, so it was really important for us this year to make sure we remembered and recognized that contribution.”

While to total amount raised isn’t in yet, organizers say this year’s event has already raised over $12,000 and counting for the three organizations.

“With some money going to the funds this year, it hits closer to home for us, and to be part of that is quite nice,” adds Cst. Gaynor.

This year’s total will be added to the over $100,000 raised over the course of the past eight years, money that helps preserve the memories of three fallen Fredericton police officers.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.