STURTEVANT -- A fundraiser was held at Hiawatha Bar and Grill Saturday, Sept. 21 to benefit the children of Racine Police Officer John Hetland, who lost his life when he intervened during an attempted robbery at Teezers Bar on June 17. The community stepped up to help the family of the officer who served for 24 years.
"There's a lot of work put into this, and a lot of people turned out, even with the weather and the rain," said Kelly Rindahl, volunteer. "It's amazing that people are still coming out."
Food, fun, and fundraising all went on as planned, despite the dreary day.
"We all knew him and loved him, hung out with him, laughed with him," said Parrish Williams, friend of Officer Hetland.
Hundreds turned out for a good time in remembrance of Officer Hetland, killed during an attempted robbery
"With the rain coming down, it was panic mode a little bit, whether or not people would show up," said Williams.
A mural was painted at the bar in Sturtevant, featuring Officer Hetland's image and badge number.
"It's for the kids," said Jeff Vlieger. "It's for the family. They go by here and memorialize him. He was a great man. This is gonna be here for a number of years. We wanted to do something special for them, and the family to show our appreciation and our love."
Thousands of dollars was raised through raffles and games.
"We're doing chicken poop bingo," said Rindahl. "There's 100 numbers, and whatever number the chicken poop's on wins. Everyone is loving it."
Organizers and guests smiled through the sadness, which is what they said Officer Hetland would have wanted.
"He's smiling on us and happy that we're taking care of his family and his kids," said Williams.