Thunder Fans Raise Money for Paralyzed Officer

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:14 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Feb 27, 2011 10:25 PM CDT

Jacqueline Sit
Oklahoma Sports Special Contributor

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma City Police officer who was severely beaten last week remains paralyzed in a hospital, but he and his family received an outpouring of support Sunday from another family.

Just $5 entered fans attending Sunday afternoon's Thunder game in a chance to win Kevin Durant's autographed Jersey or Russell Westbrook's or Nick Collison's signed cap, but it wasn't just any raffle and auction.

All the money raised goes to Oklahoma City Police Officer Chad Peery, whose life was changed forever while he doing what he loves to do-- serving.

"It's incredibly tragic, you know. A public servant who's called to do something when he's off duty," said Andy Fugitt, who supported the fundraiser.

Police say Peery was watching a Thunder game at a northwest Oklahoma City bar last week when he attempted to break up a fight. He was escorting three men out when he was brutally beaten. Since then the community has been supporting the family through donations.

Every Thunder fan who stopped by knew of the officer's tragedy one way or another. Katie Byrne is a long time family friend.

"Absolutely heartbroken, just heartbroken that somebody who would do this to a wonderful person and his family," Byrne said.

Well-wishers signed a super sized card for the father of four with messages of appreciation.

"I just said thank you for your service and hope he gets better," said Karen Duncan, who supported the fundraiser. Hopefully he'll be able to come out of the challenges and be able to do well."

One person who wanted to remain anonymous dropped off a $1,000 check for Peery.

Sunday's Thunder fundraiser brought in a total of $13,600.