Blue pumpkins sell out at fundraiser for Officer Craig Lehner’s family

CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Blue pumpkins sold out at the Great Pumpkin Farm Saturday in Clarence. It was part of a WNY Heroes fundraiser to help the family of fallen police diver and K-9 Officer Craig Lehner. He went missing during a dive training in the Niagara River.

From ceramic pumpkins to wooden or regular ones, one by one blue pumpkins flew off the shelves at the Great Pumpkin Farm early Saturday.

Each pumpkin was hand painted in remembrance of K-9 Officer Craig Lehner.

“Craig touched a lot of people,” said Liza Davidzik with WNY Heroes.

“Such a young man, he had his whole life ahead of him. It is sad,” said Don Brzezicki who traveled to Clarence to get several blue pumpkins with his wife.

But Saturday blue wasn’t

a symbol of sadness, but one of support for Lehner, his family and the men and women in blue.

“They do everything to help us and it’s our turn to do something to help the family of one of our fallen police officers,” said Carol Brzezicki.

Even the smallest supporters picked up a painted pumpkin and some people walked away with a handful of them.

The pumpkins sold out around 1 o’clock, just hours into the event. The money raised will go to the Lehner family.

“It just shows you the respect, the love that this community shows for somebody in need like his family is,” said Bills legend, Thurman Thomas.

Bills great Thurman Thomas personally thanked officers including members of the K-9 unit. He also sold autographs and donated the money to Officer Lehner’s family.

Police say they’re not surprised but grateful that even during the worst times this is Buffalo at its best.

“The way Buffalo comes together is just absolutely amazing to me and I don’t think we have words for it,” said Capt. Steve Nichols with Buffalo Police.

It’s not clear how much money was raised Saturday. Organizers hope to have a final count by Wednesday.

There were also t-shirts sold at the event which also sold out. People can get them at Park Avenue Imprints in Lackawanna.

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