Story, photos and video by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Hosted and organized by Willie Murderface, the Saturday night fundraiser at Goldie’s for Officer Jason McKissack — injured while on duty in West Seattle—attracted supporters including Officer McKissack’s wife Kim, police from several precincts, and West Seattle businesspeople like Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s Justin Cline and Jessie SK from Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor).
4:16 am update – Willie reports via Facebook: “Between the 160 Joe Mullis raised [Wednesday at Yen Wor], the 190 that Goldie’s donated, 170 from my wage, 100 from cash donations, and the 780 from the raffle (that wouldn’t have been anywhere near what it was without help from Tracy Dart and Justin Cline), we raised 1400 dollars for Officer Jason McKissack and his family.”
Asked about his motivation for producing this fundraiser, Willie says: “I went home that Sunday night and read about (Officer McKissack’s denial of benefits) on the blog. It hit me because it happened while he was protecting West Seattle.” Willie is a lifelong West Seattle resident, and both he and his mother are West Seattle High School graduates. “I proclaimed myself Mayor of West Seattle and decided it was my civic duty to do something.” He announced his plan here, the day before the news conference in which Officer McKissack, with wife Kim at his side and dozens of other officers presence for support, talked about what it was like to receive the recent letter saying he was no longer with the department because he hadn’t recovered enough to work:
As his plan took shape over the past week, Willie contacted business owners and managers he knew, including Tracy Dart from Cherry Consignment, and asked for raffle donations to support a fundraising effort. Those businesspeople in turn contacted other groups in West Seattle, and in a matter of days, Willie had the support of 15 businesses and more than $1,000 in donated items for a raffle. He’s also donating his night’s pay and tips, and Goldie’s is donating 5% of bar sales. All funds will go to the Seattle Police Officers Guild to help support Officer McKissack’s family.
Notes Justin Cline, owner of White Center-headquartered Full Tilt Ice Cream: “I was happy to donate. I worked in a shipyard, and if I had been hurt while on the job, I would have been taken care of by my union.”
Willie, who is the Karaoke host at Goldie’s, promoted the fundraiser throughout the evening. His friend Christine noted: “He tries to do a lot for West Seattle, but he was especially passionate about doing this.” We asked him to talk on camera about what inspired him and how he organized the benefit:
Among the evening’s attendees was Officer Moore, Jason McKissack’s former partner, who now works with the SPD’s K-9 Unit. Officers Moore and McKissack worked Pigeon Point together for four years. He notes: “We’ve lost an incredible police officer; Seattle will miss him greatly. He was the most (physically) powerful man I’ve ever met.” Officer Moore adds: “Call your (representatives) and tell them to support House Bill 1679. The money comes from our pension fund, the citizens don’t lose anything.” That’s the bill that would guarantee benefits for catastrophically disabled public-safety personnel; it stalled in the Legislature last year, but is back this year, with a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee at 3:30 pm this Monday (here’s contact info for its members, including West Seattle Rep. Eileen Cody).
Kim McKissack took a moment to add: “After the incident, the media started publishing people’s comments of support. We printed and read those e-mails aloud. (Jason) was happy to have done (an officer’s) job.”
As covered extensively on WSB, Officer McKissack was viciously attacked while trying to break up a fight in High Point in 2008. His attackers were prosecuted but received no additional detention time. He recently received a letter from the city saying he’s been “medically separated” since he has not recovered enough to work. You can contribute to his fund by going here.