LEMOORE, California (KGPE) — The community of Lemoore came together again Saturday to support the families of heroes gone too soon.
Both Lemoore Police officer Jonathan Diaz and U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Oscar Temores died in November. Diaz was one of three shot at a birthday party after intervening in a domestic violence incident with a friend. Temores died after a civilian crashed into his patrol vehicle at his base in Virginia.
The community immediately showed its support then, but again reminded the families they’re still standing behind them by organizing the Fallen Heroes Fundraiser.
The event — hosted at the Lemoore Recreation Center — featured a cornhole tournament, three Central Valley breweries, a silent auction, and a handful of food trucks. Many who came wore shirts honoring both Diaz and Temores.
Thanks to a number of donations and sponsorships, every dollar raised will be going straight to both of Diaz and Temores’ families.
“We want to show our appreciation to these families because our fallen heroes sacrificed their lives for their community. It’s our opportunity to give back to them,” Amy Ward, CEO of the Lemoore District Chamber of Commerce said.
Lemoore Police officer Kevin Kurtz spent every day on-duty with Diaz on the Kings County Major Crimes Task Force. For him, seeing the big turnout at Saturday’s event, it was touching to see.
He describes his late partner as a dedicated family man.
“He was the backbone of his family. So, to see our community coming together and taking his place as a provider — it’s special,” Kurtz said.
Both the Diaz and Temores families attended to not only have some fun but to say thank you to the community as well. Temores’ brother, Ricky Temores, said proceeds from this event will really help secure a stable future for his young nephew who has to live without his father.
“It’s almost as if my brother is saying I left you physically, but I’m still here in the hearts of everybody else,” Ricky Temores said. “The community is coming together and helping us make sure my nephew’s future is taken care of.”
Every single vendor at the event said when asked to participate, it was a no brainer to accept.
“My dad was former military,” said Phil Wren, owner of Lemoore-based Bird Street Brewing. “So, absolutely anything to help raise some funds for people who are going through a really tough time. You can’t say no.”
Anyone who missed the event can still help. You can send donations to the Lemoore Police Officers Association. It’ll be sure to send the donations to the families.