A group of Pines Lake residents held an informal Turkey trot on Thanksgiving and collected more than $2,000 for injured police Officer Bob Franco and his family.
Franco suffered a severe spinal cord injury during Tropical Storm Sandy when a tree fell on the vehicle he was occupying while at Fire Company 5.
Although initially immobilized, Franco is slowly regaining his range of motion and ability to move.
Some members of the group have been running together on Thanksgiving for 20 years.
“A couple of us know Bob. I’ve met him several times and was pretty affected when I heard about what happened to him,” said Chris Adams, one of runners. “He is an extremely nice person and to know that he was severely injured really touched me.”
About 40 people participated in the activity. They donated more than $2,000 to the Wayne Policemen Benevolent Association (PBA). The PBA has set up donation account and will give the money to Franco and his family to assist in his recovery.
Adams said the charity marathon Danielle Hassenbein and Hara O’Dowd ran earlier this year helped him develop the idea to raise money for Franco.
“There’s no question that having seen that made me definitely suggest we have something for Bob,” Adams said. “For a local police officer, who several of us know, who was severely hurt, we thought it would be a nice thing to do,” Adams said.