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The Telegram
  • Valley fundraisers helping shooting victims

  • After losing her husband, all Linda Montgomery wanted to do was get away.

    “But we can’t. This is home,” the Mohawk resident said. “The community is family.”

    The community has not only helped Linda with the loss of her husband, Harry Montgomery Sr., but all those affected by last month’s shooting rampage in Herkimer County.

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  • After losing her husband, all Linda Montgomery wanted to do was get away.
    “But we can’t. This is home,” the Mohawk resident said. “The community is family.”
    The community has not only helped Linda with the loss of her husband, Harry Montgomery Sr., but all those affected by last month’s shooting rampage in Herkimer County.
    Three others were killed and two were injured after 64-year-old Kurt Myers opened fire at a barbershop in Mohawk and mechanic’s shop in Herkimer. Myers was shot dead by police almost 24 hours later.
    Since then, several fundraisers have raised money for those affected.
    * The Herkimer Police Benevolent Association is selling paw print decals for $5 as well as T-shirts for $20. The union has raised about $2,650 so far, and the funds will go toward a memorial for the victims — including police K9 Ape, who was killed in the line of duty.
    * The Love and Compassion benefit raised about $70,000 to be split among eight families — those who were injured, lost loved ones in the shooting or were displaced by the fire.
    * A benefit concert organized by Eric and Rachael Hall for the Valley Support Fund with the United Way of the Valley & Greater Utica Area raised about $3,000.
    “It was a great way for the community to start transforming from mourning to remembrance,” said Eric Hall, owner of Unleashed Talent and Event Productions, the company that put on the concert benefit.
    Many of the organizers said they had success with the benefits and were pleased with the turnout and support from the community.
    “We’ve done fundraisers of other aspects, but nothing that was ever of this magnitude,” said Shawn McGraw, co-owner of Envision Event Management in Ilion, the company that put on the Love and Compassion benefit.
    The village of Herkimer’s police union initially began taking donations to create a memorial, the union’s president Sgt. Dan Palmisano said.
    “And then we thought something that could be displayed wherever you want in remembrance of Ape came to light, and we got them made up,” he said.
    Now that has expanded to T-shirts.
    “There has been a lot of outreach from different people, from different organizations saying they wanted to do something,” he said.
    While Linda Montgomery said she’s shocked by the outpouring of community support, it’s hard to move forward.
    “It’s just the idea that it will never be the same ever again,” she said, but she wants everyone to know how grateful her family is of it all. “We’re never going to remember everybody to thank them personally. For everything they’ve done and everything they’ve contributed: a thank you to everybody.”
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