Hurts Donut Raises $30,000 for Fallen Officer Michael's Family

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –- A local donut shop has created a special treat in fallen Officer Gary Michael’s honor, donating all of the proceeds to his family.

Hurts Donut started selling Thin Blue Line donuts for the officer, who was shot dead at a traffic stop in Clinton Sunday, at 12 a.m. Thursday. They have a blue stripe down the center, representing law enforcement officials.

The Springfield Hurts locations are the closest to Clinton, bringing in customers from all around the state.

"At midnight we immediately had someone buy 27 dozen donuts to take back with them,” Jessica Smith, the general manager at the downtown Springfield location, said.

Smith said it was someone from Clinton, wanting to pay tribute to Michael. As the day went on, the store’s line stayed strong. Many people had stories about how the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement has been a source of strength for them. One customer, Erin Henry, grew up with a dad in the field.

"It's really impacted my family, and I recognize the sacrifices they make to put their safety and lives on the line,” Henry said.

It’s something the rest of the community recognizes, too. Several law enforcement groups volunteered at Hurts Thursday, making the donuts themselves.

"We couldn't be there to help him, however we can try to be there for his family and help raise some money,” Eric Clay, the director of public safety for CoxHealth, said.

Henry’s mind was also with Michael’s family.

"There's people out there that may grow up without their parents,” she said. “They were just doing their job, doing a good deed, protecting the community."

After 35 years, her dad made it to retirement. But Henry knows all too well that some dads, like Officer Michael, don't.

"It makes me sad and mad," Henry said.

Michael left behind a wife and step sons, along with a much larger extended family, like a Greene County corrections officer.

"We know a lot of different agencies,” Officer Clark said. “But it doesn't matter if you know the person or not, it's a family."

Despite the tragedy in Clinton, Clark still aspires to follow in Michael’s footsteps, with the ultimate goal of becoming a patrol officer, now with a new perspective.

"It's kind of eye-opening,” Clark said. “You know it happens. When it happens close to home that's a different story."

At the downtown Springfield location, Hurts had sold almost 4,000 Thin Blue Line donuts as of 8 p.m. Thursday, totaling about $11,000. That store, and two others, will stay open and selling the donuts until midnight Thursday.

The south Springfield location told KOLR10 it stopped keeping track of how many it sold because the staff was too busy to do anything but make donuts. In Joplin, Hurts had sold about 1,000 donuts as of 8 p.m. Thursday. Hurts also said – at $3 per donut, plus donations, the three stores had raised just shy of $30,000 by that time.

 


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