Coverage of the Bucks’ run in the NBA Playoffs 🏀

‘Perfect strangers reaching out:’ Classic Lanes hosts fundraiser honoring fallen Officer Rittner 2 months after death

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.

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

Chad Ciardo

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."

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

A member of MPD's Tactical Enforcement Unit, Officer Rittner was killed on February 6, 2019 while executing a search warrant.

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

"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.

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

Organizers said the fundraiser brought an unexpected flood of support, including donations for its silent auction.

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

Gina Daroszewski

"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.

Fundraiser for Officer Matthew Rittner

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.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.