Nothing restores our faith in humanity quite like the innocent act of two selfless children. In response to the death of a local police officer, two young Colorado girls began a fundraiser for the surviving family. Although they don’t quite understand the ramifications of the intent behind the crime, they do understand the power of compassion.
Colorado Police Officer Shot and Killed
On June 21, Arvada police officer, Gordon Beesley, responded to a welfare check for Ronald Troyke. His brother, who called for the welfare check, claimed his brother planned to “do something crazy.”
After Beesley was unable to find Troyke at his residence, he then proceeded to the Old Towne Square, where there was a report of suspicious activity. As Beesley walked through an alley, unarmed, Troyke called for the officer and shot him twice as Beesley turned around.
The Arvada police department’s press release stated that Troyke left a threatening note for the police officers, stating “My goal today is to kill Arvada PD officers.”
Officer Beesley Beesley was a school resource officer and a former recipient of the Arvada Employee of the Year award. He left behind a wife and two kids.
Local Girls’ Positive Response to the Tragedy
Once news reached the community of the police officer’s death, nine-year-old Scarlet Reust immediately felt sympathy for Officer Beesley’s family. Reust’s mother, Ashley Conn, stated that her daughter immediately asked, “What if that was my dad?”
“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 explained.
Despite her feelings of shock and confusion, Reust decided to take action. With the help of her best friend, 10-year-old Addyson Elliott, the two girls opened up a lemonade stand. For just 50 cents, the girls sold cups of lemonade, and all proceeds went to the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation. The girls even dressed in shirts that read, “Lemonade for Officer Beesley.”
The community’s response was overwhelming.
Many people bought lemonade and snacks or donated money to the cause. They also shared stories about the beloved police officer that they lost all too soon. According to Conn, one teenager, whose father was a police officer, was so moved by the girls’ act of kindness, that she emptied her wallet into their collection jar.
“It really just touches the community, the law enforcement community, when people want to give back to them,” Conn said.
‘Lemonade for Officer Beesley’ Raises Thousands of Dollars
Over the course of three days, Reust and Elliott raised more than $1,800. They took it upon themselves to hand-deliver the donations to the Arvada police department. The police officers were overwhelmed by their generosity.
“Unfortunately, one of their brothers died. So they’re all broken right now,” Conn reported. “And the fact that the girls did something nice really, like, warmed them up inside.”
The proceeds given to the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation will benefit the surviving Beesley family directly.