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Donations for fallen Md. deputies keep pouring in

Two #backtheblue fundraisers have been held since the shootings, and a third is scheduled for March

The Aegis

BEL AIR, Md. — The outpouring of community support during the nearly three weeks since two Harford County Sheriff's Office deputies were killed in the line of duty reminds Dan McClure of the Bible verse in Genesis 50:20.

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today," the verse states.

McClure said that spirit is demonstrated by the number of people who have not only purchased "Support the Blue" merchandise from him to help raise money for the families of slain Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, but also by the police officers, firefighters and EMS workers who have purchased merchandise and stayed to share stories and vent about the shootings, the first time Sheriff's Office deputies have been murdered in Harford County since 1899.

"It's been incredible," said McClure, a native of Havre de Grace and co-owner of Baltimore County-based East Coast Sportswear. "It took this horrible tragedy to bring this whole county, and this whole nation, together, it seems."

McClure said that more than $20,000 has been raised so far for the surviving relatives, as $5 for every item sold will be donated to the Harford County Deputy Sheriff's Union Benevolent Fund.

That money is just one portion of the tens of thousands of dollars that continue to pour in through fundraisers put on by a slew of local businesses.

McClure has been selling merchandise such as hats, T-shirts, sweat shirts and decals with designs expressing support for police, first through Looney's Pub in Bel Air and since Saturday, in a donated storefront in the Boulevard at Box Hill shopping center in Abingdon.

The space was donated by Ward Properties, the master developer of the shopping center. He has also received signs and banners donated by Allsigns and Full House Marketing & Print, both of Bel Air.

Box Hill was the scene of the Feb. 10 shootings of Senior Deputy Dailey, who was shot by suspect David Evans in the Panera Bread restaurant, and of DFC Logsdon, who was shot in a confrontation with Evans in the parking lot of the nearby Park View senior apartments.

Evans was killed by return fire from fellow police officers. The injured deputies were pronounced dead when they arrived at area hospitals.

McClure will be operating in a space next to the Wegman's supermarket for the next month. The store is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Customers can suggest designs, and the apparel can be customized with designs approved by the Sheriff's Office.

"We try to limit it to a couple of nice designs people can choose," McClure said. "They seem to love them."

Nearly $109,000 had been raised online and through the mail through direct donations to the Benevolent Fund as of Monday evening. People can donate online athttps://www.gofundme.com/hcdsubenevolent.

Fred Visnaw, president of the Deputy Sheriff's Union, has been having multiple meetings with local business operators who want to hold fundraising events. He met Monday with the owners and operators of Looney's and the Bel Air Police Department to coordinate an April 10 benefit concert at Looney's.

"Every penny that comes in the door goes to the [Benevolent] Fund," Visnaw said. "They're expecting it to be massive, and it's going to be wonderful."

A memorial golf tournament is scheduled for May 26 at Mountain Branch Golf Course in Joppa. Visnaw noted DFC Logsdon, a golfer, was a key person in helping him organize prior golf tournaments to raise money for the Benevolent Fund.

"It's something Mark was passionate about," Visnaw said. "He really enjoyed working on the golf tournaments."

The fund is set up to support police, firefighters and EMS workers, or their immediate family members, when those first responders are injured or killed in the line of duty.

"We've helped many people over the years," Visnaw said.

He said the money that has come into the Benevolent Fund since the shootings will be reserved for the Logsdon and Dailey families until union officials decide to stop collecting for them.

More fundraisers will then be needed to raise money for future needs.

Restaurants such as Burger King, Subway and Chili's have been holding benefits recently, and more are scheduled.

510 Johnnys in Bel Air will host a day-long music festival March 20. The Applebee's restaurants in Bel Air and Aberdeen will be the scenes of celebrations of the lives of the fallen deputies March 20 and 21, respectively.

Businesses such as Wawa, Klein's Shop Rite and Redner's Warehouse Markets have been raising money through in-store customer donations.

Redner's donated 5 percent of its proceeds from all items sold Feb. 23 at its Hickory and Joppatowne stores, and customers can purchase donation cards at both stores for $1 each through March 13 to support the Benevolent Fund.

"Some of these people are saying, 'Ring me up for 20, ring me up for 25,'" Chuck Link, director of the Hickory store, said Monday. "The amount of generosity is just overwhelming."

Shoreline Emergency Vehicle Graphics, of Bel Air South, has raised more than $17,000 by offering blue decals for vehicles in exchange for donations to the Benevolent Fund.

Two #backtheblue fundraisers have been held since the shootings, and a third is scheduled for March 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Susquehanna Hose Company House 1 in Havre de Grace. the firehouse is at 451 N. Juniata St.

"We're hoping to reach $30,000," Shoreline employee Heather Forrester said Monday.

People can also visit Shoreline at 2210 Old Emmorton Road to purchase an "end of watch" decal that bears the names of Senior Deputy Dailey, DFC Logsdon, their badge numbers and their date of death, Feb. 10.

Copyright 2016 The Aegis 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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