Red serge hugs across the miles

T-shirt fundraiser focuses on Moncton RCMP families

Danielle Berze

A couple of local women whose husbands are police officers in 100 Mile House have joined forces to raise money for the families of the three fallen RCMP members in Moncton.

Danielle Berze and Ashley Pfeifer successfully sold 111 red children’s T-shirts and a dozen red onesies (baby suits) to RCMP spouses across Canada, so far raising $1,800 for the three families of the fallen officers in Moncton.

These shirts, custom-printed with Red Serge Proud in white script, were shipped all across the country from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island in late June.

Aside from the monetary help, Berze says their hope is that through RCMP families wearing the shirts, it will help recognize the loss and hardship experienced by the Moncton widows.

“I am really honoured to be able to do this because my husband is a local RCMP member here, so I know what an awesome ‘RCMP family’ there is, and we want to support one another.”

Berze explains she initially asked Sue Fryer to screen print two for her children, after having contacted the larger Red Serge Proud RCMP T-shirt program and discovering they had no children’s sizes available.

“I was excited about my shirts and posted a picture of them on an RCMP Spouse Facebook page, and then got bombarded by the other women who wanted to show their support and have some money going to the Moncton Fallen Members Fund. A lot of families wanted kids shirts … so I thought I would … see if Sue was up for a challenge of doing our own thing [here].”

Fryer also helped significantly to boost the revenue total by donating her time, expertise and supplies to screen print the T-shirts and onesies, and also assisted in getting them shipped out, Berze notes.

The T-shirts are a practical way for her and Pfeifer to raise funds, so these families can have “a little bit of the burden” relieved financially, she added poignantly.

“We just wanted to do something because we kind of feel a bit helpless when they are so far across the country and we can’t be there to hug them.

“We can all be united and wear our red shirts and show that we stand behind our members and we are proud of their service.”

Pfeifer says in being an RCMP wife herself, she strongly sympathizes with the widows of the three Moncton officers slain in the line of duty on June 4, in a brutal shooting attack that left two others injured.

“It’s really awesome to see everyone come together as an ‘RCMP family’ when something as devastating as this happens … and being able to raise money for such a great cause.”

Berze adds they were thrilled when the Nanaimo woman who started the Red Serge Proud adult T-shirt fundraiser – which raised more than $40,000 – ordered some shirts for her own kids.

“We were really excited. It’s really awesome.”

Fryer credits Berze and Pfeifer for leading the charge to raise these funds cross Canada.

“For me, it is just an honour to help out.”

Donations can be made to the families by noting “Moncton Fallen Members Fund” in the memo line on a cheque made out to the RCMP Foundation at 203-2460 Lancaster Rd., Ottawa, ON K1B 4S5; or online at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/mem/fund-fonds-eng.htm.

Berze notes the three families receiving the funds will also be surprise gifted with five Red Serge Proud T-shirts for their own children, and a onesie for the widow who is expecting a baby, to further recognize their suffering and loss and to demonstrate camaraderie and support.

 

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