BEREA,Ohio - On Saturday, a special cookout was held at Coe Lake in Berea, and it wasn't your typical pre Fourth of July party.
This gathering of family and friends was here to hold a memorial and fundraiser for the children of 27-year-old Daniel Ficker, who on July 4, 2011, was shot and killed at his Parma home. He was confronted by two Cleveland police officers,one on duty, one off duty. There was a matter of jewelry missing from a mutual friend. The officers said the unarmed Ficker attacked them, and was shot and killed.
The family and friends of Ficker are still awaiting justice for their son's death, but for the time they continue to support each other and look out for the two children of Ficker.
Ficker's parents, Bernadette Rolen and Dennis Ficker, are still in shock that their son is gone.
"He would never do anything to anybody. He would tear his shirt off to help anybody so a lot of people loved him and we all miss him," said Rolen.
"He was always the life of the party and you knew he was there, always happy," added Dennis Ficker.
The money raised at the benefit goes to the well-being of Dan's 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter who are coping with the loss of their dad.
"Children are resilient and they're doing better as time goes on," said Rolen.
People literally carried a message on their T-shirts which showed 143. This was a text message that Dan would always use to say "I love you.'
This was a message the family and community all hoped to send to Daniel at the fundraiser and forever.