NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Those planning a comedy fundraiser for the family of a fallen Newport News police officer hope to raise money for her family while putting smiles on faces of those still struggling from her loss.
It’s nearly been a month since Officer Katie Thyne died in the line of duty. She left behind a two-year-old daughter, Raegan, and that’s where money from the proceeds will go.
“I did not know Katie,” said comedian Charlie Wiener, who will be performing. “But, everything I’ve heard about her is that she was a lively, wonderful, fantastic, human being who was full of life and that’s who we’re celebrating on Tuesday and Wednesday.”
The event is being put on by the Newport News Police Foundation, which set up the Officer Katie Thyne Memorial Fund and the Greater Hilton Kiwanis Club.
President Liz Rollins says the club has worked with the foundation before for other fundraising events, but this is the first comedian event they’ve done for a memorial fund.
“Coming out of tragedy is comedy for this event as well as pouring out love and support for the police departments across the 757,” she said.
Wiener believes the show will be a good form of medicine for the community, which is still hurting.
He says he’s biased because he does comedy for a living, but people tend to cope better through laughs.
“When you weep, you’re purging your emotions and everything else, but laughter lifts something up while purging,” he said, adding that people feel better after leaving comedy shows.
Both believe it’s the community and nation’s duty to help the family of fallen officers because they put their lives on the line for their community.
And now, they’re doing what they know how to give back. It’s what Wiener wants people to understand.
“It’s unfortunate when things like this happen, but also [it] should make you realize how lucky you are. You should wake up every single day of your life — you should wake up every single day and and go ‘I’m really lucky and going to help somebody else,'” Wiener said.
Tickets for the event can be bought online here.
Rollins says if people want to donate, but do not want to attend, they can just drop off money at the restaurant. They are expecting a full house both nights.
There will also be raffle giveaways for gift cards, overnight trips to stay at a vacation home in the Outer Banks, and use of the Cozzy’s bus.
The shows will be held on Feb. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m.