The Christmas Eve attack on firefighters in West Webster resulted in a lot of heartache for those close to those shot and killed in the ambush. The tragedy is also resulting in several acts of kindness and compassion.
"Obviously, on the day it happened, there was a lot of things going on it in the store,” said Mike Roesser, Hegedorn’s Market.
"There's a lot of personal connections with people who work here; with people who were involved."
When West Webster firefighters were ambushed Christmas Eve morning, the town's oldest grocery store stepped up, right away.
“It was never a question of if we should do something, it was more or less what are we going to do and how quickly can we do it."
Roesser, Hegedorn's pricing coordinator, got the idea to collect money for the families of the West Webster firefighters.
It was a no-brainer. Firefighter and Webster police Lieutenant Mike Chiapperini was a familiar face here. So too are many other West Webster firefighters.
"And it kind of just snowballed from there."
The tragedy has bred many acts of kindness.
Rochester massage therapist Lisa Giudice had ordered bracelets from the web site PutLoveFirst.org on December 23rd. She wasn't quite sure what to do with them, until they arrived.
"And with what had happened, first responder seemed perfect. And I'm like everybody. Can't stand sitting back and so I said I should use these now,” said Giudice.
The website, dedicated to changing the culture and reversing the trend of violence, got wind of Lisa's actions, and will donate proceeds of the sale of the bracelets with the words "First Responder" to the West Webster families.
She has given them personally to many who put their own lives on the line.
"I handed them out to some firefighters myself and the gentleman I handed them to, we both got choked up. He said it was a great plan."
Hegedorn's has raised nearly $8,000 toward a goal of $20,000. Acts of kindness, which fill a greater need: the need to help during times of tragedy. To not feel helpless.
“It's been pretty amazing,” Roesser said.
Webster Community Chest Accepting Donations
The Webster Community Chest is continuing to accept monetary donations for the families affected by the shooting and fire on Lake Road on Christmas Eve.
Checks can be written out to:
Webster Community Chest
1000 Ridge Road
Webster, NY 14580
On the memo line please write "12-24."
Credit card donations can also be made through the chest's website. Again, please indicate your donation is for "12-24."