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August 31, 2014

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After tragedy, community shows it cares through contributions, condolences

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L.E. Baskow

Workers and volunteers at Freed’s Bakery of Las Vegas box up a few of the 35,000 cupcakes sold for $1 each with the proceeds going to aid the families of slain Metro Police Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.

Las Vegans continue to open their hearts and their wallets with outpourings in honor of the three victims of an extremist couple's killing rampage Sunday.

Tens of thousands of dollars have been donated and raised for the families of Metro Police Officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck, and Las Vegas resident Joseph Wilcox.

Dozens of fundraisers, from doughnut and cupcake sales to pizza lunches, car washes and even cut-rate tattoos, to benefit the families have been or are being staged across the valley.

On Wednesday, long lines formed outside Freed’s Bakery, 9815 S. Eastern Ave., which was offering its signature cupcakes at a cut-rate price of $1, with all proceeds going to the victims’ families.

“While selling $1 cupcakes feels inadequate and meager relative to the overwhelming tragedy of Sunday's shooting, we'd like to support the community in the best way we know how,” Freed’s said on its Facebook page.

Cupcakes for Police Families at Freed’s Bakery

Brayden Bailey, 6,  of North Las Vegas nervously chats with Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott at Freed's Bakery of Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.  Customers lined the building waiting to donate and purchase some 35,000 cupcakes for $1 each with the proceeds going to aid the families of slain Metro Police officers Metro officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo. Launch slideshow »

On Tuesday, Trauma Intervention Program of Southern Nevada and the “Mark and Mercedes” morning show on KMXB-FM (Mix 94.1) teamed with customers of the valley’s Dunkin Donuts to raise $12,961. The “Pawn Stars” from Gold & Silver Pawn donated $1,000 to the effort. The money was earmarked for funeral expenses for Wilcox, a conceal-carry gun permit holder who confronted one of the gunmen Sunday but was gunned down by the other.

Donations to the Injured Police Officers Fund caused Metro Sheriff Douglas Gillespie to open a news conference Wednesday by expressing his appreciation to the community.

“First, on behalf of the Soldo and Beck families, I can’t thank the community enough for the outpouring of support to them,” Gillespie said. “The number of emails and just the variety of ways of expressing to the families the condolences is just appreciated.”

Soldo and Beck were eating lunch at CiCi’s Pizza, 309 N. Nellis Blvd., when they were ambushed and killed. On Sunday, a week after the attack, that CiCi’s location will donate 100 percent of sales to funds that have been set up for the three victims’ families. Other CiCi’s locations in Las Vegas and across the nation also will have various fundraisers and accept donations for the families.

“The entire CiCi’s family is profoundly saddened by the events that took place in one of our restaurants last Sunday,” CiCi’s CEO Darin Harris said in a statement announcing the fundraiser. “We are joining hands on Sunday to honor the victims, show our support for their families and help our team members during this difficult time.”

Other businesses with fundraisers include Massive Tattoo, Adventure Sports Fitness, Pink Zebra, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Lulu’s Bread & Breakfast, Fabulous Freddy’s, BounceU and Las Vegas Tactical.

Officer Laura Meltzer, a Metro spokeswoman, said the department started trying to keep a list of the various fundraisers to pass around to officers, but the list kept growing and growing.

“It’s actually really overwhelming,” Meltzer said.

Beyond the fundraising, Meltzer said she and her colleagues are deeply touched by the condolences and words of encouragement offered to officers by strangers.

“It means a lot — I know to me and every officer out there,” she said.

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