BERLIN — Whether they were old friends or they just know her from her rounds while on patrol, attendees at a pasta dinner and silent auction fundraiser shared plenty stories about the impact a local police officer being treated for cancer has had on the town.
“We’re in support of the girl who does everything for everybody,” said Jennifer Hunter, a friend of Aimee Krzykowski, a 14-year veteran of the Berlin Police Department on medical leave while being treated for recurrent breast cancer. “She will stop whatever she’s doing to help you.”
“We hope that just coming to support her brightens her day,” said Jessica Morello as she and Hunter walked down a hallway in Berlin High School Thursday night, placing tickets in the dozens of raffle bags for gift cards donated by local businesses.
Along with the two hallways filled with gift baskets, a Google Home smart speaker, and lawn chairs donated for the raffle and silent auction, T-shirts and pink wrist bands were also sold to raise money for Krzykowski’s medical expenses.
"Everybody's really here to help Aimee out,” police officer Cathy Griffen said. “Just the nature of it, not just that she's supported financially, but that she knows that the town has her back and is cheering her on — cheering her on and hoping for her recovery.”
Deputy Police Chief Christopher Ciuci said he was “struck” by the number of donations from other cancer survivors. “Aimee is a well-known officer in town… and people just want to give back and help her recover,” he also said.
Calling it “all hands on deck,” Griffen said pretty much every officer not working was at the high school; even those on patrol would stop by for some pasta. Firefighters and police officers from surrounding towns, including New Britain, Newington and Wethersfield, also came by to support their neighboring department.
“A lot of camaraderie here...everybody’s just happy. It’s like they forget the outside world when they see something has to be done,” said Wayne Wright, a Berlin resident whose daughter works as a dispatcher for the department. “It’s a sad time, but everybody got together to support her. That’s how the town is.”
Michael Ringrose, who works at the Kensington post office and frequently saw Krzykowski there, said the “town has a lot of support for the police in general… When it became known one of their own had a problem, people sprung into action. People want to help good people and she’s good people.”