When Bobbi Fedricks heard about the death of West Bloomfield Police Officer Patrick O'Rourke, she was devastated. And then she was called to action.
Fedricks, of Rochester Hills, is the mom of a police officer: Jeffrey Firman works for the Rochester Police Department. Her relationship with the department and her sadness for the O'Rourke family inspired her to help create an event that would allow the communities of Rochester and Rochester Hills to show their support.
O'Rourke, 39, of Fenton, was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 9 while part of a team responding to a report of shots fired in a West Bloomfield home.
On Saturday, Fedricks, along with members of the Rochester Police Department, will sponsor a carnival and garden walk to gather donations to support O'Rourke's family.
The carnival will take place at Long Meadow Elementary School on Allston Road; Fedricks lives next to the school and will open up her one-acre garden — once featured on the Rochester Hills Museum Garden Walk — for visitors.
“My heart goes out to the O’Rourke family,” said Fedricks. “We just wanted to help his widow and the four young children he left behind.”
Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm, who attended the funeral for O'Rourke, said the death of an officer always affects him, but the news of this one was even more personal.
"This type of situation hits a little closer to home when it's from a dept we are friends with and we know people there," said Schettenhelm. "We look at (the West Bloomfield department) as part of our extended family. We know they would be there to help us and so we are there to support them. We are pleased we have the resources to help them."
- When/where: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at Long Meadow Elementary School, 450 Allston, in Rochester Hills.
- Benefit for: The family of fallen West Bloomfield Police Officer Patrick O'Rourke; Patrick is survived by his wife, Amy, and their 4 young children: Eileen, 10; Mary, 8; Andrea, 5 & Stephen, 9 months.
- Activities: Face-painting, pumpkin-decorating, clowns, tug-of-war, a pie-eating contest, police cruisers and fire trucks on display, a raffle and a garden walk.
- About the garden: Bobbi Fedricks owns Ponds and Beyond Landscaping; her Japanese garden features outdoor rooms and hardscape design.
- Cost: The festival is free; there is a $10 admission donation to the garden walk next door to the school.
To donate to or volunteer for the event, please contact Rochester Police Department at 248-651-9621 or e-mail: email@example.com.