GREENFIELD -- Officer Matthew Rittner's death rocked the Milwaukee Police Department, and inspired community members to stand with their heroes in blue. Just over two months after his death, the community is still honoring Officer Rittner.
At Classic Lanes in Greenfield, community members knocked down pins on Friday, April 12. They weren't aiming for a perfect score -- instead, they were aiming to make an impact.
Chad Ciardo did not know Officer Matthew Rittner personally; still, he says he felt compelled to do something following Rittner's death, and started raising money for the fallen officer's family.
"It just grew, and it took off," explained Ciardo. "Ended up with 30 collection containers over the city, and it turned into Bowling for Blue."
A member of MPD's Tactical Enforcement Unit, Officer Rittner was killed on February 6, 2019 while executing a search warrant.
"The people I met along the way have all said really nice things about him," said Ciardo.
Friday, the owner of Classic Lanes opened her business -- and her heart.
"I decided I would try to help out as much as I could, considering Matt was from Greenfield," said Gina Daroszewski, Classic Lanes owner.
Organizers said the fundraiser brought an unexpected flood of support, including donations for its silent auction.
"Perfect strangers reaching out over Facebook, saying 'I want to donate this, can I donate this?'" said Ciardo.
Proceeds from the event will go toward Officer Rittner's family fund with TCF Bank and the Fallen Heroes Fund.
"It's fantastic," said Daroszewski.
The fundraiser runs until 9 p.m. Friday night, and all are welcome to attend.
During the fundraiser, organizers are also taking donations for the family of Bryan Rodriguez -- the DPW worker that was killed on the job while filling potholes.