Officer Sonny Kim's widow thanks motorcycle riders, passes donation forward

Money raised will help police families, community
Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 15, 2016

CINCINNATI – More than 600 motorcyclists held a memorial ride for Officer Sonny Kim  in June and raised far more money than they ever expected.

Thanks to the fallen officer's widow, that money will benefit other police families and youth in need for years to come. 

"When we did this ride, we really hoped to get four or five thousand dollars and it would be really successful if we did. Well, we ended up getting $12,489.32," said Fred Fatute of Iron Shields Ohio - Clermont Chapter, which organized the ride.

"When they offered this money to Jessica Kim, she said as grateful as she was for that, she really wanted to see that money be paid forward," said Cincinnati police Lt. Steve Saunders.

Some riders and Kim's friends gathered Saturday for a check presentation at Harley-Davidson Cincinnati.

John Keuffer of Lighthouse Youth Services said he knew Kim for almost a lifetime.

"In September Sonny and I would have had 30 years of friendship. We met first day of college," Keuffer said.

"Although Sonny's not working the beat here … Sonny's just been reassigned. His watch hasn't ended, and Sonny had his wings long before they were given to him."

Kim was a beloved member of the community, a popular karate teacher and loving father of three teenaged boys. In June 2015, a despondent man with a gun lured him to a Madisonville street and ambushed him.

Half the money raised by the ride will go to Ohio Concerns of Police Survivors and the rest will go to Lighthouse Youth Services.

"It's humbling, but at the same time it's a very proud moment, too," said Keuffer. "Of course, I'd give this all back to have Sonny in a heartbeat, but I can tell you his memory will not be forgotten.

"His actions and the family's character are going to live on in the people that we help."

"The Cincinnati Police department is so grateful for everything everybody's done for the Kim family," Saunders said.

Also leading the ride was the Harley Owners Group. The organizations plan to make the ride an annual event.