Like thousands throughout Metro Detroit last week, Suzy Modiano was stunned by news reports that Patrick O'Rourke, a West Bloomfield Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty.
While watching television news all day from the Yoz Yogurt outlet on Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield which she owns with her husband, Sonny, less than three miles away from where the incident occurred, Suzy said that her first thoughts were with O'Rourke's family.
The Modianos decided to hold a fundraiser to benefit O'Rourke's three elementary school-age daughters and infant son, and his widow, Amy. They'll be open special hours on Oct. 3, from 3 p.m.-9 p.m., and the entire day's sales from both Yoz Yogurt outlets in West Bloomfield will be donated to a family trust created in O'Rourke's honor.
"I just said that we had to do something," said Suzy Modiano, who has operated Yoz Yogurt for 24 years in the Simsbury Plaza at 14 Mile Road and Farmington Road and another 13 years in the Crosswinds shopping center at Orchard Lake Road and Lone Pine Road.
"I never knew him, but I lived in the area for many years, and West Bloomfield Police were always wonderful. My mother and father continue to live in the area, and it's great knowing that police are there to serve and protect. Incidents at the stores are few and far between, but we feel better knowing that they are there for us."
Suzy offers a friendly word of caution for those interested in the shops' array of frozen yogurt options — be prepared to wait. In anticipation of crowds, she said, she has received "dozens" of offers to help man the counter that Wednesday evening.
"It feels great to know that so many are willing to step in and help us out. My mother, she lives in assisted living in West Bloomfield, told me, 'Let us know if you need us! We'll load up the bus with volunteers!'"
More ways to help the O'Rourke family
- A Marathon gas station on Wixom Road just north of the I-96 Expressway-Wixom Road exit, across from the Wixom Auto Plant, will donate five cents to the family trust from every gallon of gas sold starting at 6 a.m. Sept. 20 through Friday night, courtesy of Taylor-based Atlas Oil.
- A new website, westbloomfieldhero.org, was established last week by a group of West Bloomfield residents in order to allow those interested to donate on-line to the family trust.
- Donations to the family trust will also be accepted at any Bank of America branch.
- Yatooma’s Foundation for the Kids of Metro Detroit established a fund to benefit the O'Rourke family at forthekidsfoundation.org. A separate fund was established to benefit the family of Ricky Coley, who police say shot Officer O’Rourke before killing himself after a standoff with police. Coley was the father of a young child, and the family was reportedly suffering financial hardship before his death.