Last November, Richmond, Kentucky, police Officer Daniel Ellis, 33, was shot and killed in the line of duty after entering a residence in the city in the course of a robbery investigation.
Four suspects have been arraigned in the case, and all have pled not guilty.
Whatever the outcome of the prosecution, Officer Ellis will never be returning home to his wife, assistant high-school principal Katie Ellis, and his young son, Luke.
The community has found ways to support the slain officer’s widow and child, and that includes their fellow parishioners at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church, part of the Diocese of Lexington (and by the way, today, April 25, is the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist).
It also includes someone who’s not a member of the church family — nor has made public statements about embracing any particular faith — and who’s not even from Kentucky.
Local TV station WKYT reports that former “Tonight Show” host, and stand-up comedian, Jay Leno joined forces with Saint Mark’s own Father Jim Sichko on April 23 for “An Evening Among Friends.” It raised money for St. Mark and its school, and for the Officer Daniel Ellis Memorial Foundation.
“You know everybody thinks the world is such a terrible place, but there are more good people than there are bad people and we hear about the bad people. You know, it’s like this police officer that was killed in the line of duty he was a good man.”
The Ellis family also got some uplifting news during the evening:
Sichko surprised Ellis with an all-expense paid trip to Disney World for her and her three-year-old son, Luke. That wasn’t the only surprise of the night. Leno surprised her with $10,000 for Luke’s college fund.
“I’d like to see him go to college,” said Leno. “Police officers don’t make enough money anyway and when you lose the bread winner of the family, it’s the saddest thing in the world.”
“It is very surreal,” Katie Ellis said. “We’re just regular people that have unfortunately been put in this position and we lost Daniel and we’re very honored that someone like Jay Leno would care just a little. It means the world.”
There are good people everywhere, even in Hollywood.
Image: Wikimedia Commons