Members of the NYPD have come together to raise money for the daughter of two of their own who was critically injured and left in a coma after a car accident on November 18.
Natalie Ferber, 19, daughter of NYPD Sergeant Nancy Lawrence, serving with the 76th Precinct, and Lieutenant Dennis Ferber, a member of the 70th Precinct, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after a robbery suspect driving a van slammed into the vehicle Lawrence was driving in Marine Park with her daughter and daughter’s friend in the car.
Thanks to a fundraiser on February 12 at the Bay Ridge Manor, organized by Police Officer Christopher Donohue and Sergeant Patrick Golden, almost $70,000 has been raised to aid the family and help with medical expenses for Ferber, who suffered multiple life-threatening injuries and trauma to her brain and is currently “still in the process of making a recovery through rehabilitation,” according to the GoFundMe page set up to take donations for the teen.
There was a huge crowd at the event, with upwards of 500 people in attendance. But that didn’t surprise Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez, commanding officer of the NYPD Applicant Processing Division (and a former commander of both the 70th and 68th Precincts), who said that, “in times of need,” this is what the NYPD does: “come together and help each other out.”
“They [Golden and Donohue] did a wonderful job, and there was a lot of love and support from the community,” said Deputy Inspector Richard DiBlasio, commanding officer of the 70th Precinct (and former commander of the 68th Precinct). “People were very generous. People showed up from all over — precincts around the city, elected officials, community members. It was a packed house. It goes to show the partnership between the police and the community is astronomical. It brought tears to the family’s eyes. They were very touched by what happened.”
Kathleen Busoni, Ferber’s art teacher for many years, said she was “absolutely amazed” by the turnout.
“Natalie was my student for years so I knew her on a personal level,” said Busoni. “I was elated by the number of people who were there and it’s just a testament to police officers who come out for their own and support their own. I was really, really happy to see so many people coming to support Natalie and help her family.”
“It was just heartening, I’m sure, for the family and for members of the Police Department to see how everyone came together in a time of need,” added Lieutenant James Woods of the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Community Affairs Department. “It shows that the police department is really an extended big family, and we’re there for each other.”
To access Natalie’s GoFundMe page or to donate, visit www.gofundme.com/kkc098.