And now, a happy update from Matt McIntyre, whom readers might remember from a column I wrote about him last February.
Matt's a Northeast Philly resident who works full-time at the Kimmel Center as a stage carpenter and part-time as an un-paid fund-raiser for the families of fallen Philadelphia police officers.
Known as "That T-Shirt Fund-Raiser Guy," Matt's title isn't one he ever planned for or wanted. But what began as a simple effort, back in 2006, to sell T-shirts as a fund-raiser for the family of slain cop Gary Skerski morphed into a bigger operation, as the city proceeded to bury another six officers killed in the line of duty.
When I wrote about Matt, he had raised $54,000 selling T-shirts. He's sold a lot more since then.
Here's the note he dropped me this week:
Ronnie, I was going through my memorial shirt records, and I just wanted to give you an update of where we are in terms of selling shirts for the families of fallen officers as well as the FOP Survivors Fund.
At the point when you had written the article about the memorial shirts, we had given over $54,000 thousand dollars to the families of our fallen officers. But since that time, we have given approximately $14,000 to Kimmy Pawlowski [wife of slain officer John Pawlowski] and an additional $10,000 to the FOP Survivors Fund. We have also donated over $3,000 worth of memorial shirts to various fundraisers which support the FOP Survivors Fund, and we are still selling shirts which honor "All 7 Officers".
To date, the total is approximately $81,000 raised to support the families of these fallen officers and the FOP Survivors Fund. I can't help but think that in large part, it is due to the article you had written, and I just wanted to thank you for all that you do on a daily basis.
To Matt: Thanks, but you're the one who's done the heavy lifting on this effort, bless your gigantic heart.
To everyone else: To inquire about ordering a shirt, contact Matt directly at email@example.com.