More than 500 people turned out to the Scottish Rite Center in San Jose on Saturday for a fundraiser aimed at helping the sons of fallen Officer Michael J. Katherman, 34, who died in a motorcycle crash back in June.
Organizers told NBC Bay Area that 100 percent of the proceeds raised at the event will go to Katherman’s family. A carnival-theme fundraiser was chosen, they said, to bring people together to honor the officer’s memory.
“We did a family-festival themed carnival because Katherman did have two young boys,” said organizer Diana Nolan. “…Seeing family coming together in times like this really helps them get through the hard times.”
The fundraiser kicked off at 11 a.m. with games, food stands, giant tiers of cupcakes and miniature golf. Since Katherman was killed, there have been a slew of fundraisers organized in his honor, including a barbeque and an auction. There is also a GoFundMe page, which aims at raising $100,000 for the officer's family. So far, it's just shy of $40,000.
Katherman was killed June 14 when a minivan collided with his motorcycle on 10th Street in San Jose. He was an 11-year veteran of the force. He was laid to rest June 21 after a full dress memorial attended by more than 3,500 people, including more than 1,000 law enforcement officers from throughout the Bay Area.
"I want to thank the police officers, the command staff. They have embraced us," Tom Katherman, Michael’s father, said. "The Police Officers Association has embraced us. That means so much to us. ... So I just want to say thank you to everyone and again to all the officers out there, we thank you for your service and what you do for our community to keep us safe."