COLD SPRING, Minn. - In the same hallways where Tom Decker went to school, the community that helped raise him came out to help raise up his family he left behind.
"I think he'd be shocked to see how many people are actually here for him," said his brother, Eddie Decker.
2500 people were expected at a fundraiser Thursday night inside the Rocori High School gym.
"We really felt just compelled to do whatever we could for the family," said Melissa Medford, spokesperson for Leighton Broadcasting which organized the fundraiser.
Leighton Broadcasting, including its station, Wild Country 99, brought in a number of local bands who donated their time and their talents.
"We hope to raise $40,000 to $50,000 dollars just tonight," said Medford.
Besides the $10 price of admission, organizers auctioned off items given by the community, including Eric Decker's signed NFL jersey.
The Cold Spring native is not related to Officer Decker. Neither is Cheryl Danzeisen.
"He just died too young," said Danzeisen.
She and many others who showed up did not even know Officer Decker, who was gunned down in November outside a bar in Cold Spring. But most felt the pain his family and his four young children are now dealing with.
"My son went running up to his dad and these kids will never get to do that and that's what breaks my heart," she said with tears in her eyes.
Decker's older brother Eddie showed up to thank people.
"We really haven't had any time to think about what happened to Tom because everyone is so caring," said Decker.
Officer Decker's widow, Alicia, was in attendance but did not want to comment.
But near the end of the fundraiser, an organizer read a statement from the family thanking the crowd.
"We would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support. The past six weeks have not been easy, as many of you can imagine. Being here today able to stand and continue to strive for peace is truly amazing. Words cannot express how grateful and how blessed we are," the statement read.
"The whole community has been wonderful," Eddie Decker added.
Wonderful and it turns out creative. 10 minutes away in Richmond, the local Tae Kwon Do group broke 1600 boards Thursday night.
People paid three bucks a pop. They hoped to gather close to $5,000 for the family.
"It's tae kwon do spirit. We take care of everyone who can't take care of themselves," said Master Jen Doll.
And just the other day, a local beauty salon held a cut-athon with all the proceeds going to the Decker family.
From cutting boards, to cutting hair, to cutting a rug, it is a community coming together for their hero they call Tommy.
"It's truly remarkable," said Decker.
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