Children make cards for Mentor Police Department, Officer Mazany’s family

MENTOR, Ohio -- Signs of support for the Mentor Police Department and fallen Officer Mathew Mazany have been going up throughout the city.

Patrolman Mazany was killed by a hit-and-run driver on S.R. 2 early Sunday morning while assisting another officer with a traffic stop.

Wednesday night, the local PTA organized an event specifically for children.

“We feel it’s important to teach our kids the importance of what first responders do,” said Kelly Bellin, PTA President at Fairfax Elementary in Mentor and event organizer. “I feel like our youngest community members needed the chance to do something.”

Tables were set up with art supplies inside of the Mentor High School Paradigm building from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. so that students could make cards for the police department and Officer Mazany’s family.

”When I first heard about it I was like how does this happen,” said a 7-year-old named Ava. “I was really sad about it.”

Dozens of children and parents took part in the card-making.

Bellin, whose son just graduated from M.H.S. and plans on pursuing a career in law enforcement, says the children are very familiar with Mentor police because they often visit the schools, teaching safety tips.

Justine Paneto brought her two young sons.

Her oldest, Dominic, wanted to be there even though he was celebrating his 6th birthday.

“I asked him if he felt that he could share his birthday with the police department and he said he felt really sad and that’s what he wanted to do,” said Justine.

**Continuing coverage**