Fundraising for paying off Sgt. Michael C. Chesna family’s mortgage by the Stephn Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is nearing its goal, but there is still more work to be done, according to Trevor Tamsen, assistant manager of media relations for the non-profit group.
Efforts to pay off the house mortgage for the family of fallen Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael C. Chesna, 42, by the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation got a $25,000 assist from Hanover Mall owners Peco Real Estate Partners.
Hanover Mall General Manager Ed Callahan said there was no hesitation by the shopping complex owners to assist the Chesna family.
“After witnessing the unity and compassion of the 6,000 officers who used our mall as a staging area for Sgt. Chesna’s funeral, and seeing the outpouring of support from the community, there was no hesitation from PREP in wanting to help any way we could,” Callahan said in a written statement. “Our local leadership team has relatives who are in law enforcement and it is our honor to help the families of brave first responders.”
Chesna served the Weymouth Police Department for six years. He is survived by his wife Cynthia, a son Jack, 4, and a daughter Olivia, 9.
The family has lived in Hanover for the past three years.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO Frank Siller announced efforts to pay off the Chesna family’s mortgage during a July 18 press conference at Weymouth Police headquarters.
“In the wake of this senseless and sudden loss, it is inspiring to see the leaders in the community step up and show the Chesna family they are not and will not be forgotten,” Siller said in a written statement, Aug. 1.
Chesna died in the line of duty July 15 when he was shot by a 20-year-old man during a foot chase following a car accident near South Shore Hospital.
The suspect, Emanuel Lopes, of Weymouth, has been charged with two counts of homicide in connection with the death of Chesna, and Vera Adams, 77, a bystander.
Plans are underway by Weymouth officials to honor Adams’ memory by naming a sunroom in a new 50,000 square foot Tufts Library that will be built on Broad Street.
Donations to the Adams fund may be made to Vera Adams Memorial Fund care of Equitable Bank, Lori DiBona, 50 Patriot Parkway, Weymouth.
Tunnel To Towers began the fundraiser to payoff the Chesna family mortgage by donating $100,000.
The Tunnels to Towers Foundation was established in memory of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who died at the World Trade Center when it collapsed after being struck by a hijacked airliner during the terrorists’ attacks against the nation, Sept. 11, 2001.
Tunnel to Towers typically raises funds to pay off the mortgages of families of fallen police officers, firefighters, and military personnel.
The foundation has pledged $7 million in the form of trust accounts and mortgage payments to 25 families of fallen first responders throughout the nation, according to Tunnel To Towers officials.
Fundraising for paying off the Chesna family’s mortgage by Tunnel to Towers is nearing its goal, but there is still more work to be done, according to Trevor Tamsen, assistant manager of media relations for the non-profit group.
“We are closer than we were two weeks ago,” he said. “We have a bit of a way to go. We did get a nice boost from the Hanover Mall. We are close but not at the finish line.”
Tamsen said donations toward paying off the Chesna family mortgage can be made online at Tunnel2Towers.org.
All donations raised will go directly to the Chesna family according to Siller.
Plans are also in the works to honor Chesna by naming a landmark in the town in his memory, according to Mayor Robert Hedlund.
Hedlund previously said town officials will give the Chesna family and police department time to grieve before any serious discussions about a tribute for Chesna, who grew up in Weymouth.
The mayor does not have the authority to name memorials in town without approval from the memorial committee.
There is also a push to rename the Fore River Bridge in memory of Chesna which has won the backing of Gov. Charlie Baker and State Sen. Patrick O’Connor, R-Weymouth.
Efforts to rename the bridge would have to be decided by state lawmakers when they begin their next legislative session in January 2019.
Information for this report provided by Patriot Ledger reporters Neal Simpson and Jessica Trufant.
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