Rick Staack would do anything to help others, his colleagues said, but now he is the one needing assistance.
Staack, a deputy with the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, has battled a form of brain cancer, anaplastic astrocytoma, since June 2011.
On Sunday, members of the Sheriff’s Office and the Fraternal Order of Police held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Belvedere Hall in Papillion to help pay Staack’s medical expenses.
The eight-hour event drew a crowd. More than 500 people were fed during the first two hours, said Leetha Feeney, one of the organizers.
“It’s been packed all day,” said Staack’s wife, Shelley. “It’s very overwhelming. He’s touched a lot of people.”
Staack has worked in the Sheriff’s Office for 24 years as an investigator and a SWAT team member. Capt. Monty Daganaar said Staack is one of the department’s hardest workers.
“You can always count on him,” Daganaar said.
And that helpfulness extends beyond the workday.
Dana Harrah, an investigator in the office, said that when she moved, Staack helped fix a sidewalk at her new home.
“He did it out of the kindness of his heart,” she said. “He’s a hard worker, dedicated, loyal, energetic. He’s everything. He’s a great guy.”
The fundraiser itself showed what his colleagues and the public think of Staack, said Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis.
“I am the luckiest person to be able to say that I work with these people,” Davis said.
Feeney said the dinner turnout was “phenomenal.” Organizers didn’t have an exact attendance number or amount of money raised.
The pasta and sauce for the fundraiser was donated by the family of Ryan Fawcett, a Sarpy County deputy who died of brain cancer last year, Feeney said.
Anyone wishing to make a donation toward Staack’s medical expenses should contact the Omaha Police Federal Credit Union at 402-391-4040.
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