Gaston County restaurants raised $6,000 for injured officers
Gaston County restaurants raised $6,000 for injured officers
Gastonia Police officers M.A. Lewis and Sgt. C.E. Nelson were shot the night of Nov. 12 while working security at Remedies nightclub on Union Road in Gastonia. [Gastonia Police/Special to the Gazette]

Gavin Stewart
Gaston Gazette

Two Gaston County restaurants raised $6,000 to benefit two Gastonia Police officers who were shot earlier this month.

Gastonia Police K9 Officer M.A. Lewis and Sgt. C.E. Nelson were two of six people injured in a shooting at Remedies nightclub on Nov. 12. The officers were attempting to break up a fight between 20 or 30 people when they were injured.

The following day, John Bailey, owner of Sammy’s Neighborhood Pub in Belmont, and Webb Custom Kitchen owner Jim Morasso, came up with a plan to raise money for Lewis and Nelson.

Even though Bailey’s restaurant isn’t in Gastonia, he said the shooting was too close to home to ignore.

“Once it hits home, we need to jump up and do something about it,” Bailey said. “We’re happy to be able to help these folks.”

For every special sold on Nov. 18, the restaurateurs donated $5 to the officers. Both restaurants also accepted cash donations throughout last week.

Bailey and Morasso formally presented the checks, each $3,000, to Gastonia Police Chief Travis Brittain Monday afternoon. Each officer will receive $3,000.

“It’s just a testament to this community and how much it cares for its public safety,” Brittain said. “We’re not in this job for the accolades, but when we do get it, we certainly do appreciate it… it lets us know we’re doing the right thing.”

Morasso, whose restaurant is located on South Street in downtown Gastionia, agreed that the community was quick to support the officers by dining at one of the restaurants on Wednesday.

“You can’t ask for anything better than the support for your community,” Morasso said. “It’s time for our community to give back to our police department, and they did a stellar job with it.”

Nelson and Lewis both suffered leg injuries in the shooting. Both officers are recovering and are doing well, according to Brittain.

“We keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” he said.

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