Local bakery turns donuts into dollars for slain officer’s family
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It’s been nearly two weeks since a police officer died on the job in Englewood.
39-year-old Jeremy Bitner left behind a wife and two young kids.
His death shaking the community–but it’s also motivating them to help.
“Today has been absolutely crazy,” says Jim Samaras, of Lora’s Donuts and Bakery at 11804 E. Oswego in Englewood.
The line stretched out the door into the parking lot.
“We waited here about an hour,” says Evereth Ayala, whose husband is a Denver policeman.
But it wasn’t just donuts drawing the increasing crowd.
“Having officers in our own family, we want to support these people. And do whatever we can to help his family,” says Ann Stole, whose daughter is a Parker police officer and son-in-law is a Denver policeman.
“I wanted to say goodbye and thank you, tell his wife we’ll be thinking of her,” says Englewood resident, David Torrez.
They came to support the family of a man who died protecting the public.
“What all these people are in here for is absolutely amazing,” says Samaras.
Lora’s donuts and bakery is donating 100-percent of the money it makes to Bitner’s two kids, 7-year-old Ascher and 9-year-old Anabelle.
And it will be a lot–selling many more donuts than they could have imagined.
“We made donuts, everything in the back, every shelf was taken, and every table in the lobby had donuts stacked on it. We have already gone through every one of them,” says Samaras.
So they scramble to make thousands more.
The warm, sweet treats a symbol of support for a family that’s hurting.
Bitner died in the line of duty after he pulled over a driver on South Broadway and Belleview on May 28. A man in an SUV hit him and drove off.
20-year-old Connor Donohue faces several felonies, including vehicular homicide.
“We’ll care about him for the rest of our lives. He was just a great guy,” says Englewood officer Billy Todis.
So they satisfy their stomachs in hopes it will help the hearts of the Bitner family heal.
“I would not have donuts at all but for here, for a good cause I will have a donut or two,” says Ayala.
They hope to lift up the family of a fallen officer.
The owners of Lora’s Donuts sold more than 20,000 donuts. That’s way about what they sell on an average Saturday of 3,000 donuts.
The family wanted to keep private how much money they received in donations.