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Two West Michigan organizations create T-shirts to raise money for Proxmire family

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Posted at 8:54 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 21:38:32-04

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — As West Michigan continues to mourn the loss of Sgt. Ryan Proxmire, organizations and community members are hoping to show their support to the family by raising money for them during this difficult time.

The West Michigan community is rallying together coming up with ways to honor Sgt. Ryan Proxmire and his ultimate sacrifice.

Two different T-shirts are already in the works where all proceeds will go to the family.

"It’s just so unfathomable that anything like this would happen. I just feel so terrible for the Proxmire family and the law enforcement family," said Forever Strong Memorial Foundation Founder and President Laurie Smith.

RELATED: ‘Proxmire ran towards danger so others didn’t have to’: Fallen deputy remembered for his passion and service

Kalamazoo County is coming together following the death of Sgt. Ryan Proxmire.

The Forever Strong Memorial Foundation started back in 2016 following two Kalamazoo County tragedies, and is helping out once again.

"That’s why I created it: to give back and to memorialize and remember not just those two tragedies but anything going forward that happens to our community that impacts literally everyone," said Smith.

Laurie Smith's husband and son were both killed back then during one of those tragedies when an Uber driver went on a shooting spree around the city.

Just like others did for her, she has created a T-shirt that is still in the works, where all proceeds will go to the Proxmire family.

"You are numb for the first year and a half, two years. They are going to need money for comfort. If they don’t feel like cooking, making sure the kids have what they need. The list goes on and on," said Smith.

The support isn't just stopping locally, as Sgt. Ryan Proxmire's memory is reaching far across West Michigan.

In Grand Rapids, Flashpoint Firearms LLC said they wanted a way to show their support and created a T-shirt as well.

"The idea was just a way to figure out how to give something to recognize the fallen. People with having the shirts made, because that officially gives the name of the person and when their end to watch was," said Flashpoint Firearms LLC Owner Lisa Mayo.

Mayo said she believes it is important to show support for those who put their lives on the line every day to keep everyone else safe.

"We're from West Michigan; I grew up here. We got to come together as community to support everyone," said Mayo.

The T-shirts created by the Forever Strong Memorial Foundation are around $12. You can click here to purchase.

If you'd like to purchase the T-shirt from Flashpoint Firearms LLC, you can visit their storefront at 5357 Alpine Avenue in Grand Rapids. They are $25 each.

Community members can also honor him in person at a memorial service on Sunday. It will be held at Miller Auditorium on the Western Michigan University campus at 1 p.m.

READ MORE: Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office releases details for Sgt. Proxmire's funeral procession, memorial

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