In early February, Chuck Roseberry contacted me and told me a story. Amy Ugalde, wife of Sergeant John Ugalde Jr. (who recently passed from cancer), and their young daughter were visiting John’s grave. The young daughter saw a particular headstone that she said she would like for her Daddy’s grave and a bench that she would like for the gravesite to sit on when visiting. Amy had been hit with many unforeseen expenses, and this was not in the budget. Chuck asked me if the Retired (and almost retired) Phoenix Officers/Dispatchers group could help. There was no doubt in my mind that we could help. Chuck posted the following:
“Donation Account for John Ugalde Jr.: Most of you are aware of the recent passing of Motor Sergeant John Ugalde Jr. following a brief, courageous fight with cancer. His dad, John (Gator) Ugalde, is a member of our retirees group. John’s young daughter likes to visit her Dad’s final resting place and would like to have a nice headstone with a PPD badge and maybe a bench. I would like to see our group cover this cost and maybe a little extra to help Amy (John’s wife) with other expenses, as any other help is limited in a non-line-of-duty death.”
In just over a week, the generosity of our Retired Officers/Dispatchers had raised $5,375. Again, thanks to all of you for pulling together for an important purpose. We may be a grassroots, informal group, but we do have heart.
Chuck Roseberry presented the check to Amy Ugalde on March 3 and wrote the following:
“Last night I had the pleasure of joining Amy Ugalde, widow of Sgt. John Ugalde Jr., and several other friends for dinner on her 40th birthday. After dinner I presented her with two checks from this great group of retirees totaling $5,300!!! This money will be used to help cover the $7,300 cost of a nice headstone and a bench at the gravesite. Amy was very, very grateful and wanted to make sure I thanked each and every donor. She kept repeating, thank you, thank you, thank you. Since I’m unable to thank each of you personally, know that Amy was very touched by your generosity. Remember the account is still open, and I will repost instructions and account numbers. Once again, for Amy and especially for Brynn, who misses her Dad constantly, thanks to a generous, great group. An account has been opened at Arizona Federal Credit Union and donations can be made at any branch to the following account: DONATION FOR JOHN UGALDE JR., Account 10028048.”