Matthew Renshaw comforted his grandmother Ruth Renshaw Tuesday after she was presented with an $8,000 check.
But the money isn’t why most of the eight families who were presented with the $8,000 checks — money raised from the Love and Compassion benefit — were at Francesca’s Banquet Hall in Ilion.
“Money doesn’t mean nothing, I just want my son back,” Ruth Renshaw said through tears, referring to her deceased son Michael Renshaw.
Matthew Renshaw said it wasn’t about the money either, and he was there to support the other families and wanted to express gratitude to all those in the community who showed support.
“Let everybody know that I said thank you,” he said.
The checks were presented to eight families who either lost loved ones, had family members injured or were displaced by the fire 64-year-old Kurt Myers set in his apartment building before opening fire at a barbershop in Mohawk and a mechanic’s shop in Herkimer in March.
Myers was shot dead by police almost 24 hours later after he shot and killed an FBI police dog while hiding in a vacant Herkimer building.
Tuesday night’s short presentation began with a prayer led by Ed View, who was co-chairman of the benefit.
“I’m sure you’ve lost a lot, but you’ve gained a lot,” View said to the families. “I’m sure (the money) is going to help your life somewhere down the road.”
He added that thanks should go out to all those who donated.
“It’s what happens when love and compassion come together,” View said.
Justin Price, now a resident of Ilion, was displaced by the fire Myers set.
He said he was thankful for all those who came together to help everyone affected.
“We found out we had friends we didn’t know we had,” Price said. The money is “just going to get us back on our feet, like before it happened.”
Mohawk resident Vicki Cimo’s father Dan Haslauer was seriously injured in the shooting, and she said the money would go to help with medical expenses.
“It’s a great thing to see the community come together in this awful time of tragedy,” she said. “It makes you realize the sun can still shine through the rain.”