When NYPD Officer Paul Tuozzolo was shot and killed more than five years ago, his wife Lisa was shattered.
Left as a single mother of two boys, ages 3 and 4, she couldn’t imagine going on a trip away with her kids.
One of her first getaways was to Lake George, courtesy of the nonprofit Law Enforcement Officers Weekend, which aims to offer trips and assistance to families of injured or fallen officers.
"I was scared," she said. "It allowed us to have warm hearts during our darkest days."
The LEO Weekend organization has helped 42 families from 14 different states and from 22 different law enforcement organizations over the years. This weekend, the group is joining with the Town of Hempstead to hold a fundraiser to help future law enforcement families get away after suffering tragedies or catastrophic injuries in the line of duty.
The fundraiser, planned for 7 p.m. Saturday at Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall in Wantagh, will feature a concert by New York Irish band Shilelagh Law. Proceeds from food, drinks and a live auction will go toward a Lake George weekend trip in June, a Long Beach weekend trip in July and a Miami weekend trip in October.
The event will include free parking at the Wantagh train station and free taxi service after the event provided by All Island Taxi.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said 500 law enforcement officers died nationwide last year and the LEO Weekend was a way for the town and the community to give back.
"These men and women go out every day and put their lives on the line. They’re wives, husbands, and fathers and some don’t make it home. Some give the ultimate sacrifice and that should never be forgotten," Clavin said. "When you buy that ticket, it’s going to something important — the fabric of society, law enforcement and families that lost loved ones."