STATEMENT FROM THE MAHER FAMILY:
We would like to thank everyone for their help during this tragic event. We have truly been blessed with all the support and prayers that we have received these past few weeks. Our family would like to thank each and every one that has helped our family during this difficult time.
Thank you to all Law Enforcement agencies, City of Tupelo, first responders, all medical staff at North Mississippi Medical Center, our family and friends, all businesses and donations that have been made to our family and to those of whom we have never met but are grateful for all your thoughts and prayers. We are truly grateful for everyone during this time and feel the thoughts and prayers said on our behalf.
We know we have a long road of recovery but with the support and prayers that we have received, it will make it much easier to achieve. Again, our family thanks each and every person that has helped us during this time. We ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for our family, as well as the Stauffer family.
Joseph, Lindsey and Ella Kate Maher
By JB Clark
TUPELO – Weeks after the shooting that killed a Tupelo police officer and wounded another, the community is still showing support to the police department, wounded officer Joseph Maher and the family of fallen officer Gale Stauffer.
Members of the Tupelo Police Department and Tupelo Fire Department are raising money to help send Maher and the family of Stauffer on vacations to help with the recovery process.
For those and other community efforts, prayers and support, Maher and his family said thank you in a statement Wednesday.
Sgt. Michael Russell, director of the Tupelo Police Athletic League, said they want to raise enough money to send Stauffer’s family on a vacation and Maher on a duck hunting trip in November.
“Maher is a big duck hunter and he’s going to miss the rest of his duck season,” Russell said. “For the Stauffers, we want to give them a family getaway to get out of Tupelo and relax.”
Russell set up an account named the Maher/Stauffer Trip Fund at Renasant Bank where community members can help fund the trips.
The police and fire departments will compete in miscellaneous games and trivia events at Buffalo Wild Wings Jan. 29 to finalize the fundraising effort. Buffalo Wild Wings will donate a portion of sales from the night.
Russell said they are currently about $5,000 short of their goal.
In addition to the trip fundraiser, an account has been set up for each family at BancorpSouth where community members can donate money.
The Tupelo Tea Party held a fundraiser at Atlanta Bread Company on Monday evening for the families of the two officers.
Tupelo Tea Party Coordinator Grant Sowell said they waited tables for two hours Monday and took donations from diners as well as members of the Tea Party. Atlanta Bread Company also donated 10 percent of their sales from the evening.
In total, $820 was raised and distributed to the two BancorpSouth accounts.
So far, Reed’s has donated a Yeti Cooler to the hunting trip. Hunter’s Haven agreed to double whatever gift certificate trip organizers purchase toward the hunt as well as almost $300 in ammo. Mossy Oak will be outfitting Maher and his guest for the hunt.
Anyone interested in donating to the families of the officers can do so through either bank fund. Anyone interested in helping with the vacation fundraiser can contact Russell at (662) 322-4514.