A fundraiser was started for the two sons of a Red Deer police officer who died while on holiday in Mexico.
Friends of Const. Aaron Zimmerman also want to help cover the “heavy expenses” involved in bringing his remains home through a donation drive collected through the National Police Federation Benevolent Foundation.
The 41-year-old who worked at the Red Deer RCMP detachment died on Jan. 25 on the third day of his family vacation in Cancun. His cause of death was not disclosed.
According to his obituary, Zimmerman was a passionate police officer, who “lived and breathed being a Mountie.” He worked in corrections before attaining his long-held dream of joining the RCMP in 2017.
Zimmerman “wasn’t afraid to crack joke to lighten the mood… His charisma and zest for life was truly one of a kind,” states his obit.
Corp. Mike Evans of Red Deer RCMP on Thursday called Zimmerman a dedicated member of the policing family, saying, “He will be missed.”
Zimmerman leaves behind two sons, Carter and Tyler, as well as his girlfriend, Liz Chan. Since Zimmerman died in another country, his family members have had to deal with large expenses, including for bringing his remains back to Alberta.
“No family should have to endure this, so we’re asking for help to relieve any financial burdens imposed on Liz and the family, while also helping relieve the stressors of future education for the boys,” states an explanation shared on Facebook.
Kevin Halwa, chair of the National Police Federation Benevolent Foundation, said he knows Canadians are very generous and are also very supportive of first responders, so he believes some members of the public will want to contribute.
The fundraiser was started by Zimmerman’s peers, but donations are being collected by the National Police Federation Benevolent Foundation, with 100 per cent of donations going directly to Chan and Zimmerman’s family. The foundation was set up to assist members’ families “in their worst days,” said Halwa.
To donate, please visit foundation.npf-fpn.com/donate/ (click ‘yes’ on ‘dedicate this donation’ and complete ‘in memory of’ button, typing Zimmerman’s name in honoree details).
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Feb. 8 at CrossRoads Church, Red Deer County. The service will also be livestreamed at www.crossroadschurch.ca/livefunerals.