After the tragic death of a Colorado police officer, two young girls decided to do their bit for the family of the local ‘hero’ by selling lemonade.
The officer was Gordon Beesley who was a 19-year veteran of the Arvada Police Station. He was shot and killed on June 21 by a suspect who “expressed a hatred for police,” the department said. The officer left behind a wife and two children.
The entire community looked up to the officer and were shocked by the horrific news of his death, including, 9-year-old Scarlet Reust, who began thinking about the grieving family immediately according to her mother, Ashley Conn.
“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. She said her daughter asked her, “What if that was my dad? … He had kids, like, what if that was my dad?”
So, Scarlet Reust turned her “feelings into something constructive,” and took the help of her best friend, 10-year-old Addyson Elliot, and set up a stand in Commerce City, west of Arvada. The next three days, they spent collecting money for the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation, which went to Beesley’s family.
Crowds stopped by to not only donate but to share stories about Beesley. One teen whose dad was a cop, “emptied her wallet,” when she got to the lemonade stand. Colorado’s 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office also supported the young girls and called them “shining examples” of the community, they even shared about the girls’ efforts on Facebook to 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 and a former recipient of the Arvada Employee of the Year award but more importantly, “he was loved by all, especially his wife and two children,” Arvada Mayor Marc Williams said in a statement.
Beesley even drove bikes to school with children if they didn’t have anyone to go with them just to make sure they got there safely. The girls have raised more than $1,800 for Beesley’s family, Arvada Police Department spokesperson Dave Snelling said.
The girls were given the privilege to hand-over the money to the police chief of the Arvada police last week, in the presence of “teary-eyed” officers. “Unfortunately, one of their brothers died. So they’re all broken right now,” she said. “And the fact that the girls did something nice really, like, warmed them up inside,” Conn said.