While a Massachusetts community continues to deal with the devastating loss of a police sergeant and innocent bystander, business owners are pitching in to help.
Residents in Weymouth say finding different ways of donating is a big part of the healing process as the entire town mourns the loss of Sergeant Michael Chesna.
At Everyday Café, workers brewed extra coffee Tuesday and gave it away for free to anyone who made a donation to the Chesna family. The workers also donated their time and their tips.
“I think everyone gets that feeling of oh my gosh what can I do,” owner Kerrie Doherty said. “As small as a gesture as it is, this is the only way that we can show our sympathy and support.”
Many customers were paying much more for their coffee as a result. One dropped off a check for $300. By 11 a.m., more than $3,000 was raised.
The donations were also pouring in at a lemonade stand set up outside the North Weymouth library. The children were charging 25 cents a cup, but customers were donating a lot more.
Another lemonade stand in Chesna's hometown of Hanover was also receiving donations much larger than the 50-cent price tag. As of Tuesday afternoon, Kaitlyn D'arcy and her daughter had raised about $2,000. All of the money raised will go to Chesna's wife and children.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation in New York plans to help Chesna's family pay off the mortgage with a $100,000 donation. The charity, set up in the memory of firefighter Stephen Stiller, who died responding to the 9/11 attacks, is challenging others to help, as well.
At Barrel House Z brewery, workers are getting ready to tap a new brew called “Stand with Weymouth.” They have 8 kegs of the amber lager and decided to release the beer under the name so proceeds can be donated. The brewery will also make a contribution.
“When we heard about what happened on Sunday, we rearranged our schedule so we could release the beer,” General Manager Dan O’Connell said. “We wanted to make sure the community knew we were supporting as much as we can.”
Down the street from the Weymouth Police Department, the owner of Kennedy’s Auto Repair is donating all profits from this week in addition to his personal paycheck.
“It’s not easy to lose someone so close so I just wanted to try and give back,” owner Dan Kennedy said. “They got a long road, but this will make it a little bit easier.”
Several business owners are also reaching out to those who knew the innocent bystander, 77-year-old Vera Adams, to try and cover her funeral expenses, as well.
Meanwhile, in Hanover, neighbors tied blue ribbons to trees and lit blue lights in Chesna's honor.