Reporting Ron Dewey
WIXOM (WWJ) – Two Wixom businesses, and their customers, are stepping up to host a 48-hour fundraiser for the family of slain West Bloomfield police officer Patrick O’Rourke.
Tom Zografos, manager of Futuristic car wash, along with the Marathon gas station next door, will donate proceeds from their sales the next two days to the cause.
“Anything anybody can do to help a family, especially having a family of four,” Zografos said. “Anything to help the children and the wife — get them a lease going and help them out.”
People from all corners of metro Detroit are not only donating money, but they are also giving their time. Gas station owner Eddie Osmun said people have volunteered to help behind the counter.
“We’ve been having people coming all the way from Livonia,” he said. “We have a customer, she came from Dearborn Heights to pump fuel and buy a cup of coffee. She said she only needed five gallons of gas because she’s retired. She (can) hardly drive but she drove all the way to here and she wanted to donate 20 bucks for the coffee.”
Five cents of every gallon of gas sold will help the family of O’Rourke.
Osmun pointed to the clear plastic box full of bills next to the cash register.
“All the proceeds of the coffee, the hot dogs, the fountain drinks, the sandwiches, the donuts is going straight over here,” he said. “We don’t collect the money for it. We ask the customer whatever amounts of it to pay it and if you want to donate extra you’re more than welcome. We have another five more boxes. In a couple more hours and maybe an hour, the boxes would be full.”
Osmun expects to go beyond their $10,000 goal.
The fundraiser will continue around the clock until 5 a.m. Saturday. The gas station and car wash are on Wixom Road north of I-96 across from the old Ford Wixom plant.
O’Rourke, a 12-year veteran of the West Bloomfield force, was killed in the midst of a 20-hour armed standoff earlier this month. It ended when discovered the shooter had died by what a medical examiner has ruled was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.