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Officer Lehner tribute T-shirts selling strong to benefit his family

First responders of all types and people who love them have been standing in line at Park Avenue Imprints in Lackawanna to buy T-shirts in memory of Officer Craig E. Lehner.

"Everybody coming in has a little story," said shop co-owner Paul Roorda. "This is their little part of the memory of this."

And the T-shirts, which are being sold for $15, have generated more than $10,000 for Lehner's family, Roorda said.

Lisa Davidzik, fundraising coordinator for Western New York Heroes, went to Roorda with the idea for the shirts as a way to raise money for Lehner's family. She asked eight local businesses who had ties to the fallen officer to contribute $200 apiece for the first batch of shirts.

"They were the ones who helped me get this started," she said, adding that the first batch raised $5,000. "People didn't care what size they were getting, they just wanted to support the family."

Davidzik said a friend hand-sewed neck scarves for Lehner's dog, Shield, and the other dogs in K-9 units that attended the funeral, and Roorda's company embroidered a badge on them.

Officer Craig Lehner

Park Avenue ordered black T-shirts last Thursday, and started printing them Friday morning. They feature Lehner's badge with a blue bar going through it, and a silhouette of a German shepherd holding his leash imposed on top of it.

"We had people calling the store on Sunday," Roorda said.

The store was busy Monday and stayed open until 10 p.m. Tuesday because people wanted the tribute T-shirts before Lehner's funeral on Wednesday.

And more officers showed up after the funeral.

"Just when you think that's it, a bus of Canadian troopers show up," Roorda said. "We've seen all different kinds of law enforcement around here."

The store at 2955 South Park Ave. is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.

"We're going to try and do our best to make sure everyone in Western New York who wants one gets one," Roorda said.

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