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Officer's fiancée thankful for support; community fundraisers continue – Palladium-Item

RICHMOND, Ind. — Seara Burton should be getting married this weekend.
The four-year Richmond Police officer, however, remains critically injured in a Dayton, Ohio, hospital after she was shot in the head Aug. 10 during a traffic stop related to a narcotics investigation. Phillip Matthew Lee, who was wounded by police gunfire, has been charged with two attempted murder counts and four other felonies in connection with the shooting and traffic stop.
Burton’s fiancée, Sierra Neal, posted Sunday on Facebook expressing her thanks for support shown Burton, 28, and her loved ones by a saddened community.
“Seara is the strongest person I know and she continues to prove that every single day,” the post said.
“She is the most beautiful human inside and out and anyone who has ever been lucky enough to know her will tell you the same.
“Seara Burton I love you more than anything in this entire world and I am so very proud of you. You are my person.”
Neal’s previous post, on Aug. 7, shows photos from the couple’s bachelorette getaway.
Burton’s stepmom, Ami Miller, a longtime Richmond Police Department officer, also posted over the weekend thanks for the love, support and prayers.
The post also said, “Please continue to pray hard! Seara is a WARRIOR. She’s fighting so hard. The prayers are working!!!!”
Supportive and prayerful social media posts began immediately after the shooting. Soon after, the community support became even more visible, with signs planted throughout Richmond, a prayer board placed near the police station, blue clothing worn to support officers and more. Hundreds of people then attended a Friday night prayer vigil at the Richmond Municipal Building.
To help Burton’s loved ones with expenses, the Richmond City Employees Federal Credit Union began collecting donations as part of the police department’s Blue Angels fund. The department usually uses Blue Angels funding to help children, especially near Christmas. Checks should be made payable to “Blue Angels,” and Venmo information is available in a Facebook post.
Local businesses and organizations are now also raising money that will be sent to the Blue Angels fund for Burton.
Some weekend efforts have already raised money, while many are upcoming or ongoing.
Jerry Toschlog, the Bald Bee Man, announced after Saturday’s Richmond Farmers Market that honey sales and donations raised $2,022. Toschlog will continue collecting with honey sales of “Care Bears for Seara.” For a freewill donation, a label with Burton’s photo will be applied to any honey purchase during upcoming farmers markets and other events.
Mercurio’s Pizza also announced that it will contribute $3,000 to Blue Angels from customer and its own donations. Mercurio’s will continuing accepting donations from customers, who should mention the donation when placing an order.
Two weekend golf tournaments at Highland Lake Golf Course also raised money for Burton: Smiley’s Pub & Beer Garden’s fifth annual scramble and the Northeastern High School softball team’s initial scramble. Burton is a 2012 Northeastern graduate.
Pizzabarn in Losantville pledged to donate 10% of all sales from last Friday and Saturday.
Many other fundraising efforts have been announced on social media.
Businesses are also selling special police- or Burton-themed items to raise money that benefits the officer. Details can be found at the respective Facebook or web pages. They include:
Businesses and organizations collecting Blue Angels donations include:

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