"We did not expect what happened today," says Travis Wright, right, with Jason Himmel, a detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. "It's unbelievable. I'm overwhelmed." Wright, with fellow motorcycle patrol officer Chuck VanSickle, arranged for the July 10 fundraiser through their motorcycle club, the Steel Swine Tampa chapter of Renegade Pigs. Proceeds from the event at Big Belly Burgers in Brandon were to benefit the families of Tampa police patrol officers Dave Curtis and Jeff Kocab, who died on the job on June 29, 2010. "We expected maybe a couple hundred people to show up," Wright says. "But we well exceeded our expectations. Passing in and out, there probably were a couple thousand people who showed up." Donations, collected on July 10 and through August 1 at the Big Belly Burgers locations in Bartow and Brandon, will be "split down the middle" for the Curtis and Kocab families, Wright says. "Chuck and I have represented the community in just about every law enforcement funeral in the state over the past five years and there's been close to 50 of them," Wright says. "Each one of them's different. And being on motorcycles, as escorts, we have even more contact with the families. It makes it a little more intimate." And,he adds, gave the officers even more of an incentive to reach out to the Curtis and Kocab families with community support. - MyPaperNow.com - Your Stories. Your Life ©
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