GASTON COUNTY, N.C. – In early November, two Gastonia police officers were shot while working off duty.
Officer Mike Lewis and Sgt. Eric Nelson were two of six people shot outside the Remedies Nightclub in Gastonia on Thursday, Nov. 12.
When John Bailey, owner of Sammy's Neighborhood Pub, and Jim Morasso, owner of Webb's Custom Kitchen, heard the news, they came together to sell specials and raise money for both officers.
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"So many times we hear about these things happening to officers and it's always some place else and now it's hit very close to home," says Bailey. "Even though I’m in Belmont, I’ve got ties to the Gastonia community and once it hits home, we need to jump up and do something about that.”
Monday, Nov. 23, Bailey and Morasso presented checks to the Gastonia Police Department.
Both restaurants were able to raise a total of $6,000 that will assist both officers and their families during this time.
Chief Travis Brittain is not only grateful for both owners, but the entire community that came out to support his officers.
“It shows the men and women that work out of this building where the care is, and how much people actually do care," he says. "We’re not in this job for the accolades but when we do get it, we certainly do appreciate it, so it’s awesome. It lets us know we are doing the right thing.”
The Gastonia Police Sergeant's Association has also created an emergency relief fund to help both officers.
Cash donations and checks are being accepted at the police department located on 200 East Long Avenue in Gastonia.