ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A fundraiser to benefit police officers turned into something much greater when some special guests of honor arrived.
The family of St. Louis County Police Blake Snyder was overcome with emotion through donations, as well as gifts presented to the officer’s son, 2-year-old Malachi.
The Friday evening event was originally planned as a benefit for St. Louis County police officers. The West County Citizens Police Academy Association had a mouse race event scheduled.
“Sodas, cards, cookies. We provide those little things all throughout the year. Just to kind of let them know, ‘Hey we love you, we’re thinking of you. Thank you for your service,’” WCCPAA President Kasey Kaiser said.
But Kaiser said it made sense for a change in direction following the shooting death of Officer Blake Snyder, 33, on October 6.
Snyder’s first Lieutenant, Captain Tim Cunningham, played a special role at the fundraiser. He presented Malachi two cars – a small cast-iron vehicle featuring Officer Snyder’s DSN and picture.
“It was one of the most difficult things I had to do. But also one of the most honorable things I’ve had a chance to do. It really was,” Cunningham said.
A special auction was raised to transfer the title of a power wheels car to Malachi.
Nearly $30,000 was raised in one night, Kaiser said: $12,000 to title the car to Malachi and about $18,000 on the silent auction, admission, and raffle prizes.
Cunningham said the fundraiser and the events leading up to it should send a powerful message to Elizabeth Snyder.
“I wanted to explain to her that what happened Thursday,” he said. That event, that funeral, the procession, the service, was unlike anything I’d ever seen. And I told her that it’s because of Blake the kind of guy he was.”