HOW YOU CAN HELP: It’s a measure of the late Glen Rock Police Officer Michael O’Shea’s popularity and love by many for his family that it took less than two days to raise $6,500 — and then some — for a tree and bench in his honor.
As of Tuesday morning, the campaign was $1,215 short of the goal.
By 6 p.m., it exceeded $7,000 — $500 more.
By Wednesday morning, it was $8,625 and climbing — to nearly $9,000 less than 24 hours later.
When they learned of the opportunity as part of a landscape renovation at High Mountain Presbyterian Church in Franklin Lakes, children Jack, Carly and Colin asked their mother: “Can we get a tree for Daddy?”
“I couldn’t say no,” Tina O’Shea said on the GoFundMe page established to raise funds for the memorial.
“[W]hen I saw the prices of the trees I realized I could only afford the cheapest one, a Norway Spruce,” she added, “which was fine by me until I saw a picture of that tree.
“It is a standard, “run of the mill” type of evergreen, [d]efinitely not one to adequately represent Mike and who he was,” O’Shea said.
“When the kids saw the pictures of the different trees to purchase, they immediately wanted the top of the line Kousa Dogwood…[a] fully grown, magnificent tree with beautiful flowers adorning the branches ( photo, above ). In addition they also wanted a bench to sit on underneath this tree!”
O’Shea said she “suddenly got caught up in the image of them being able to come to this peaceful place for many years to come and just sit on ‘their’ bench beneath this amazing tree with their Dad’s name proudly displayed on it.”
Mike O’Shea, 44, died Jan. 19, 2013 after a valiant fight against acute myelogenous leukemia that included chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
A graduate of William Paterson University, O’Shea began his career with the LAPD in 1996, receiving a host of commendations. His meritorious service continued when he returned to his former Glen Rock home in 2003 and, again,when he became a federal DEA agent two years later.
As of Wednesday morning, Tina O’Shea was trying to decide what to do with the additional funds.
“I am thinking of it either going toward purchasing another tree in his name, to Relay for Life (where we will be walking on “Team Mike” to raise money for the American Cancer Society), to “Good Grief” (the bereavement group the kids and I attend which has been instrumental in our healing process over the past two years) or to a combination of them all!
“In any case just know that your incredibly thoughtful donations will all go toward honoring the extraordinary and “larger than life” man that Mike was. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
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“ In memory of Michael O’Shea. Forever in our hearts. ”
TO DONATE, CLICK HERE: A tree and bench in memory of Mike
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