COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Two young girls from Colorado were devastated over the tragic loss of Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley. So they turned their sorrow in something constructive by creating a lemonade stand in order to raise funds for the officer’s grieving family.
Beesley, a 19-year veteran of the Arvada Police Department, was shot and killed on June 21 by a suspect who “expressed a hatred for police,” Law Officer reported. He left behind a wife and two children.
The tragic news reverberated throughout the community, including Scarlet Reust, 9, who instantly put herself in the family’s shoes, her mother, Ashley Conn, told Fox News.
“They know police as their heroes and their protectors and for one of them to pass like that is really just kind of confusing,” Conn said.
“What if that was my dad? … He had kids, like, what if that was my dad?” the young girl asked her mother.
Conn said her daughter quickly responded and turned her “feelings into something constructive.”
Reust enlisted her bestie, Addyson Elliott, 10, and the girls got to work on their stand in Commerce City, which is just west of Arvada, Fox reported.
Reust and Elliot spent many hours over the course of three days staffing their operation to raise funds for the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation, which goes directly to Beesley’s family. Their time was well spent.
“If you build it, they will come,” might be a famous line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” but it applied to this situation as well, since droves of people, many who personally knew Beesley, stopped by to not only donate but to share stories about the Arvada hero.
According to Conn, one teenager mentioned that her father was a police officer and she “emptied her wallet,” toward the cause at their lemonade stand.
Colorado’s 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office also came out in support of the young girls – who they say are “shining examples” of the community – and posted their efforts on Facebook to help spread the word.
“It really just touches the community, the law enforcement community, when people want to give back to them,” Conn said. “I mean it’s $2,000, but it was the meaning behind it.”
Beesley was a school resource officer. Conn learned that he went above and beyond the call of duty for his community, which included riding bikes to school with children if they didn’t have anyone to go with them just to make sure they got there safely.
He was also a former recipient of the Arvada Employee of the Year award. “He was loved by all, especially his wife and two children,” Arvada Mayor Marc Williams said in a statement.
Thus far, the motivated girls have raised more than $1,800 for Beesley’s family, Arvada Police Department spokesperson Dave Snelling told Fox News.
They hand-deliver the monies to Arvada’s police chief last week. During the process, there were some “teary-eyed” moments, Conn said.
“Unfortunately, one of their brothers died. So they’re all broken right now,” Conn added. “And the fact that the girls did something nice really, like, warmed them up inside.”