Ferndale Police Host Benefit Tonight In Honor of Officer's Late Toddler
Ferndale Police Officer John Cleveland's 3-year-old daughter Olivia was killed when a drunk driver struck the family's vehicle on June 25.
Residents can help support the family of a Ferndale police officer Thursday night at a benefit held in honor of the family's 3-year-old daughter who was tragically killed by a drunk driver.
On June 25, a minivan occupied by Ferndale Police Officer John Cleveland, his wife Jodie, and their three children - Katie, Gavin and Olivia - was struck by a drunk driver. Olivia, 3, did not survive the accident.
Jodie and the two other children were hospitalized for several days.
To help the family with mounting expenses, the Ferndale Police Officers Association is hosting a benefit for the family at 6 p.m. Thursday at Rosie O'Grady's in Ferndale. Several items will be raffled off and there will be a tin can auction.
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10, which includes food and non-alcoholic beverages. Those who purchase tickets in advance of the event get preferred seating and an early look at the auction items.
"We want to support our officer," said Ferndale Police Sgt. Patrick Jones. "We are a police family and we try to assist each other when we fall into any sort of difficult times."
Jones said the tragedy has impacted the entire department. "It touched all of us. We deal with tragedies all the time but it hit home with us because we know John and his family," he said.
The event is being promoted as alcohol-free. "What we also want to promote is we don't want people drunk driving anytime," he said.
A free ride home will be provided for anyone who does drink at the bar Thursday.
"This was a case where a drunk driver killed a young child and we believe it's something that is a preventable incident because [people] should not drive after they've been drinking," Jones said. "This changed a lot of people's lives in a moment."
The accident took place in Shelby Township. The drunken driver - a 43-year-old Sterling Heights woman - died in the accident, according to Macomb Patch.
Residents can also help the Clevelands, who live in Macomb Township, by donating to a fund set up at Credit Union One under "Friends of the Cleveland Family." Donations for this fund can also be dropped off at the Ferndale Police Department.