A colourful symbol of support has helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of Sarah Beckett.
Customers getting memorial ribbons inked at Langford’s 4 More Tattoos did so knowing the proceeds would go to the family of the fallen West Shore RCMP constable, who died in a motor vehicle crash a couple of blocks away on April 5.
“Sarah’s aunt was a very dear friend of mine for many years,” said tattoo shop owner Doug Dunnett.
“So when it was brought up, (I thought) it was a good idea and a way to support the surviving family members. She served the public; (she made) the ultimate sacrifice.”
Dunnett matched all proceeds up to $500 until studio staff presented $1,660 to the West Shore RCMP on April 19.
“We get a lot of thank you’s and compliments (from) people coming in, but it wasn’t really about the studio,” he said. “Thank you’s should go to officers and employees. We didn’t raise the money, it was the community.”
Staff Sgt. Steve Wright, who accepted the donation on behalf of the West Shore RCMP, said the support from the community as a whole has been overwhelming.
Even when he went to deposit the money the next morning, a gentleman stopped him at the bank and offered condolences.
“Some people are crying, come up and wanting to give us a hug, shake our hands, or stop and tell us how sad they are,” Wright said. “We don’t get tired of hearing that.”
Others are offering to bring food to the detachment and toys for Beckett’s children. Financial donations collected for the Beckett family have reached $20,000 thus far.
Among upcoming events in the works to honour Beckett, a memorial will be held outside the West Shore RCMP detachment in Langford, where plants placed in Beckett’s memory will be planted in a garden alongside a bench. The City of Langford has also donated a memorial plaque.
“We have received support from civilians, military, fire and corrections (officers) right across Canada,” Wright said. “It’s very heartwarming to see that, and it’s particularly moving when we receive condolences from children. “(We got one) from a child who lost his mother at three and it moves you to tears. It’s had a tremendous, uplifting effect on our staff and members here.”
Online fundraiser, subsequent efforts bring in more than $100,000
A GoFundMe campaign set up for Sarah Beckett’s family by Kayla Reid and fellow members of the Team Defiance car club in Langford reached a staggering $94,820 by the time it ended on April 18 and was handed over to the RCMP.
A barbecue fundraiser held April 17 at Fountain Tire brought in more than $6,400. Part of that was $700 in tips received over a two-day span by servers at Brown’s Social House on Goldstream Avenue, and another $1,000 was collected for the trust fund at the candlelight walk held in Beckett’s memory on April 10.
“No thanks are needed from anyone,” Team Defiance Sgt. at Arms, Deanna Jennings, said of the group’s fundraising activities. “We can’t bring Sarah back, but our efforts ensure that her family will be well taken care of for years to come.”
A Sarah Beckett Memorial Cruise raised $800 more for the fund, pushing the total to $101,244.45, a testament to the support the community at large has shown in the wake of the April 5 crash that took the 32-year-old officer’s life.
– Don Descoteau