Fredericton's generosity helps memorial fund for slain officer exceed target
Over two months ago the City of Fredericton lost four people in a shocking and horrific event.
Police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns and Civilians Bobbie Lee Wright and Donnie Robichaud were shot and killed outside an apartment complex on Aug. 10.
Many in the community have rallied to help support the Const. Sara Burns Police Memorial Fund.
- The Nashwaaksis Y Service Club raised $6,573 dollars from a breakfast they organized.
- The New Brunswick Police Association donated $5,000.
- Children at a Fredericton-area daycare raised $412 raised from a lemonade stand they set up.
These are just three of the 526 groups and individuals who have donated to memorial fund.
It's all meant a great deal to Sara’s husband, Steven Burns.
“It’s very heartwarming to know so many people loved her and so many people loved this community enough to do this,” said Steven Burns.
They raised more than $40,000 in just the last week with IT company Bulletproof matching up to $50,000.
Thursday, Burns announced the fund has reached over $200,000.
“We've seen it over and over in other jurisdictions where stuff like this happens,” said Steven Burns. “People always kind of come together and they're always good that comes from it. That's what I hope this is -- the good that's coming from it.”
That amount does not include any money raised from a song “We'd Rather Have You” - written for Sara's funeral by a family friend.
They're still waiting to hear from iTunes how much that has raised.
Some of the donations have been split between Sara Burns' and Const. Costello’s funds.
All donations are held in-trust at the Fredericton Community Foundation.
“When things like that happen in a community, it speaks to something,” said Kate Rogers, executive director, of the Fredericton Community Foundation.“And I think that this fund is going to try to get to what that speaks to.”
Bulletproof was co-founded by Steven Burns.
Jeff Shaw is the company’s chief operating officer.
“I know Steve. He's very modest,” said Shaw. “But this is only the beginning of where this fund is going to go I'm sure, because there's going to be annual drives that continue to this and the fund is going to grow and grow.”
A committee will be set up to decide where the money will go.
Mental health, education and violence against women, are all causes Sara felt strongly about and every cent will be spent on helping people in need.
Burns says the love and support is what's keeping him going.
“My buddies who I grew up with, there's 20 or so of them,” Steve Burns said. “Since it happened, (they) have been dropping off a meal, Sundays and Thursdays every week for my family. So, when I come home from the day or whatever I've been doing there's a cooked meal there for my kids. It's pretty overwhelming.”
He says he'd like to see the fund last for years, not only to continue Sara's legacy, but for their children to look after some day, too.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.