In the days since Denver police officer Celena Hollis was shot and killed while breaking up a fight during City Park Jazz, the DPD and the community have gathered together for an outpouring of local support. On Sunday, the day after Hollis's public funeral, state representative Angela Williams and councilman Albus Brooks will co-host a fundraiser for the Celena Hollis Memorial Fund, which benefits the single mother's family and twelve-year-old daughter.
As Westword reported earlier, Hollis was shot in the head and killed in City Park at around 8 p.m. on Sunday. In the following days, the incident has been rife with allegations involving gang activity and comparing this season to the city's historical "Summer of Violence."
In the meantime, officers have arrested 21-year-old Rollin Oliver, repeatedly reported to be a gang member, in conjunction with the crime.
Following the news of Hollis's death during duty, Williams and Brooks approached Eden, the event's venue, which quickly volunteered time and space for this weekend's benefit.
"It was a tragedy for our community -- and for her family -- and what we want to do is come together as a community from all over Denver to host a fundraiser to assist her them during this time," Williams says. "What we hope to have is an incredible outpouring of support from the community from this time for her family. Denver is a great place to live, and I think during these difficult times we can show our strength as a community."
Although she's unable to confirm yet, Williams hopes Hollis's family will be able to attend the fundraiser, during which organizers will collect the names of everyone who showed up to support Hollis's legacy. The event is presented in conjunction with Girlz Pushing the Buttons, an offshoot of the Kaleidoscope Project dedicated to the state's black lesbian community. Organizers have planned a small reception and will present speeches throughout the event, which lasts from 2 to 4 p.m.
"We're also trying to do a read-out on the hour to show how much money is raised while going through the e-mails coming in, the Facebook messages, all of this support," Williams says. "Mostly, we hope the community can come together in person to make a difference and push past this."
Those who cannot donate in person can mail their support to:
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Celena Hollis Memorial Fund Account Number 23012705 Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement FCU 700 W. 39th Avenue Denver, CO 80216 303-458-6660
Hollis's funeral will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at:
Denver First Church of the Nazarene 3800 E. Hampden Avenue Englewood, CO 80113 303-761-8370
More from our News archive: "Rollin Oliver, busted in Denver cop Celena Hollis's murder, reportedly a gang member (12)."