WORCESTER (CBS) – Raising a glass in honor of fallen Worcester Police Officer Manny Familia, who died in June while trying to save a drowning teenager, leaving behind a wife and two children.
“He was just a great person. Great police officer but really a great person. Great family man. He coached his son’s baseball,” said Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent.READ MORE: Bill Russell Talks To CBS News About Pioneering Career With Boston Celtics And His Legacy
“He was somebody who was always kind of instinctually wanting to help people and that’s what we saw in his brave act at Green Hill Park,” said Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus.
Wormtown Brewery has produced charity beers for fallen community heroes in the past, and on Thursday they released “Worcester’s Finest” in honor of Manny, donating 100% of the proceeds to the Familia Family Memorial Fund and the 267 Foundation.
“His family and as well as fellow officers actually were here for the brew day. So, they actually brewed the beer with us. They were here for canning day, they helped us put it in the cans. So, it’s been another opportunity for camaraderie and celebration,” said David Fields, CEO of Wormtown Brewery.READ MORE: Shakeel Bodden Charged With Murder In Stabbing Death At Somerville Home
It’s the kind of beer and gathering his brothers say Manny would’ve enjoyed.
“He would be the first one here. The first one at the bar. Two beers in his hands. So, this beer was actually made specifically to the taste he would like. It’s one of a kind. It’s only sold today so it makes it even more special,” said Eric Familia.
Brother Elvin added, “he was a happy person. He was the life of the party; he was always smiling. And one of his biggest gifts was to bring people together and he’s continuing to do that.”
All 250 cases of Worcester’s Finest that were made sold in the first hour they were available on Thursday, and Wormtown Brewery is expecting to raise anywhere between $20-25 thousand dollars through the effort. They expect Worcester’s Finest on tap to go quickly but say there will be a designated jar where people can donate to the Familia Family Memorial Fund this weekend.MORE NEWS: COVID Spiking In New Hampshire With Record-High Number Of Active Cases
“Amongst the pain and grief that we’re still feeling and going through, this support is helping us and it’s uplifting our family and we’ll forever be grateful,” said Elvin.