Strangers raise thousands for slain Minnesota police officer's family
Adam Bongard didn’t know slain Mendota Heights, Minn., police officer Scott Patrick, but that didn’t stop him from creating an online fundraiser that is bringing in thousands of dollars for the family.
"The guy gave his life in a completely senseless tragedy," said Bongard, 31, of St. Cloud. "We’ve never met these folks. It doesn’t mean we can’t help."
As of Thursday afternoon, the fundraiser on the GoFundMe site had amassed more than $12,000 from more than 300 people. It was created about 7 p.m. Wednesday -- it shows no signs of slowing down.
"We’re as shocked as anyone else," Bongard said.
GoFundMe is a fundraising site for personal causes, charities and life events.
The fundraiser is not associated with any official police organization or the Patrick family itself.
"When this happened (Wednesday), we asked, 'Should a family member do one? Should we be doing this?’ And we decided all the money is going to the family anyway, we have to help."
Bongard and his friend Matt Meehan are organizers of Minnesota Chive, a group focused on "throwing meetups" and charity events for a range of causes, according to the Facebook group.
There are loose Chive affiliations nationwide. Bongard said his group is "pretty big" on fundraising for police officers, firefighters, soldiers and other public servants.
Bongard, who works as a sales representative for G&K Services in Minnetonka, said neither the group nor its organizers are making any money from the drive.
Patrick, a 19-year veteran of the Mendota Heights police department, was shot and killed on a routine traffic stop Wednesday in West St. Paul. He leaves behind a wife and two children. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Affinity Plus Credit Union has established the official Scott Patrick Memorial Fund. Donations can be made in person at any Affinity Plus branch, by phone at 651-291-3700 or through the mail by sending donations to 175 West Lafayette Frontage Road, St. Paul, MN 55107.