More than $1.2 million has now been raised for the officers’ loved ones, with businessman Anthony Pratt on Saturday night pledging the biggest donation yet — $250,000 through the Pratt Foundation.
It’s follows a $40,000 donation from sales of last week’s Sunday Herald Sun, which hardware giant Bunnings has matched.
“The Pratt Foundation is proud to support a cause as worthy as the Victorian Police Legacy fund which will help assist the families of the brave officers who died in this terrible tragedy,’’ Mr Pratt said.
“Like the vast majority of Victorians, we salute our police who put their lives on the line everyday for us.”
Herald & Weekly Times chairwoman Penny Fowler said the organisation, publisher of the Sunday Herald Sun, was committed to supporting the community.
“The work of Victoria Police Legacy supporting the families of these four officers is so important,’’ Ms Fowler said.
“This tragedy has had an enormous impact on us and it is inspiring to see all Victorians coming together to support their families.
“We are so pleased that Bunnings, led by Mike Schneider matched our donation in a show of true community spirit.
“And it is wonderful to hear that Anthony Pratt and the Pratt Foundation have given the incredible amount of $250,000 to this cause.
“They have a long history of supporting so many causes and we thank Anthony for his community leadership at this time.”
Victoria Police Legacy chief executive officer Lex de Man said the support was overwhelming.
“It’s just amazing,’’ Mr de Man said.
“It shows the community has really felt this loss.
“This restores your faith that the Victorian people hold the police force in the highest of esteem and every member of Victoria Police can go about their job knowing that the community is behind them.
“And such a significant donation from the Pratt Foundation has just left me speechless.”
Mums, dads and even kids have rallied to support the Victoria Police Legacy Remembrance Fund.
Five pieces of mail received on Friday morning alone contained $4600 in donations.
Dozens of police like Sen-Constable Jacob Gooden and Constable Robert Weir — who are cousins — will this month run 159.485km to raise money.
The distance represents the sum of the registration numbers for Leading Sen-Constable Lynette Taylor, Sen-Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney.
“We consider ourselves to be a blue family and you genuinely do feel for these people like they are your own,’’ Sen-Constable Gooden said.
“To think we are feeling that just makes you wonder what their actually families are going through right now.”
“It’s not going to be what they want in the world — getting that money — but it’s one less thing they have to think about.”
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