Community effort helps preserve memory of fallen Greenland police chief
GREENLAND — Like many others, Colleen Sodini wants to keep the memory of Chief Michael Maloney alive by continuing his legacy of service to the community.
Sodini — who serves as a firefighter in town, works as a paraprofessional at Greenland Central School and serves as class advisor to eighth-grade students — said it’s important to remember the life of Maloney, who was fatally shot while assisting members of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force search of a home in town on April 12, 2012.
Maloney, who was 48 at the time, was a mere eight days away from retiring from the department. He was credited with helping to save four other officers who were injured during the incident, which resulted in the death of two of the occupants in the home.
Maloney, who spent 12 years as chief, served as a police officer for 29 years. He began as a part-time officer in Rye and North Hampton before beginning his full-time career in North Hampton, where he served for 15 years before becoming chief in Greenland.
The memorial fund, which was established later in 2012 as a tribute to Maloney, paid for 10 $10,000 scholarships to area students, helped cover the cost of local police to attend National Police Week and provided financial assistance to families of the officers fallen and wounded in the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, according to the website chiefmaloney.com.
For the third year in a row, Sodini said local eighth-grade students plan to donate the proceeds of their annual fundraiser to the fund honoring Maloney. Their next event is scheduled for April 15 from 4 to 10 p.m. at Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, 775 Lafayette Road in Portsmouth.
This is the third year Margarita’s offered 15 percent of the proceeds from the event, according Sodini.
“We’ve been doing fundraisers for numerous years to help offset costs for the eighth-grade trip to New York City,” Sodini said, adding students participate in a number of events to raise $310 each for the trip In 2012, the class decided to donate $500 to the Maloney family following the death. The following year the school provided $750 to help pay to send local police officers to Washington, D.C., to visit the national police memorial, according to Sodini.
“Whatever we raise, we’ll donate a portion of it to the Chief Maloney Fund,” Sodini said, adding they hope to have enough to provide $500 to the fund.
“As long as I’m here, I’m going to try and keep his memory alive,” Sodini said.
Registration is also underway for the Chief Maloney Unity Run, a 10-kilometer race to honor first responders in the area. The run between the police stations in Stratham and Greenland is scheduled to begin April 27 at 11 a.m.
The cost to participate is $30 for adults, $20 for juniors (ages 13-20) and $5 for children age 12 and under. If the 2,000-runner limit is not reached, racers can register at the Stratham Police Department on the day of the race (starting at 9 a.m.) for $35.
For more information, to volunteer or to register for the race, visit www.millenniumrunning.com/maloney.Additionally, an online auction is underway for race bib No. 260, which was Maloney’s badge number. The proceeds will benefit the Chief Michael Maloney Memorial Fund, Inc. The online auction ends April 25 at 11 p.m.For more information or to make a bid, visit: www.32auctions.com/organizations/13250/auctions/14674/auction_items/323601.