Vol 7 No. 5 - October 25, 2006

Money coming in for Pete Lannon family

Anna Maria Elementary School students gather around resource officer Pete Lannon after he showed up at the pasta dinner fund raiser held in his honor Thursday.

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH – The community’s response to news that Anna Maria Elementary School resource officer Pete Lannon is battling pancreatic cancer has been swift and generous, according to those who organized fund-raisers to help his family.

The pasta dinner organized last Thursday at St. Bernard Catholic Church raised more than $13,000 said Joy Murphy, one of the organizers. Proceeds from the children’s area at Bayfest on Saturday, which were earmarked for the fund set up at Wachovia Bank, topped $2,500, according to Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Brockman.

On Sunday, Danielle’s Day Spa in Bradenton Beach opened to offer massages, manicures, pedicures and other treatments with all the funds going to the Lannons. Danielle Sewal, who organized the event, said they raised $2,400.

A group called Pete’s Teens, middle and high school students who graduated from Lannon’s DARE (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) program when they were in the fifth grade, held a car wash at Holmes Beach City Hall on Sunday. They raised $606.61, according to Chris Hanula of the Holmes Beach Police Department who helped organize the event. She said they were amazed at the turnout.

"One lady came up and said she didn’t want her car washed, but she gave us a check for $100," Hanula said. "A couple from Michigan, who own a hospice there, brought in their rental car to have it washed. They didn’t know Pete, but read about the fund raiser in the paper and said they had a lot of cancer patients that they cared for and wanted to give."

Island restaurant owner Ed Chiles and Bob Carter have promised to match the $3,000 raised from both of the Sunday events.

In addition, residents have been depositing money in the account at the bank in Holmes Beach on their own or bringing money to the school for the account, according to school officials.

On Monday, Murphy deposited $10,000 from the account at Wachovia to Lannon’s personal account, so that the family would not have to worry about money during Pete’s treatment. While he has insurance from his job on the police department, his income is limited and his wife, Debbie, has had to spend time from her job to take care of him.

Still ahead is a walk-a-thon for the Lannon family on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria, organized by the Holmes Beach Police Department and friends of Pete, including Julie Krokroskia. The walkers will gather at 9:30 a.m. and the walk to the elementary school in Holmes Beach starts at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served at the school.

"We’re looking for former students and people in the community who know him to sponsor or participate," Krokroskia said. "It’s all about showing support for Pete."

Their slogan is "Put Your Feet on the Street for Pete."

The Holmes Beach Police Department has sponsor sheets available for participants. For information, call Hanula at 708-5800, ext. 240, or Krokroskia at 778-5447.

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