Holy Cross students collect stuffed animals in fallen LMPD offic - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Holy Cross students collect stuffed animals in fallen LMPD officer's memory

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Every teacher will tell you they don't have a favorite student. But if Sister Maryanne Tarquinio at Holy Cross had to pick, a young Nick Rodman might make the top five.

Much like the rest of the city, Tarquinio was devastated when the LMPD officer passed away in March. She put her grief into work, forming a service project for students in the National Honor Society.

"We thought this was something we could do in his memory," Holy Cross student Dillon Smothers said.

The task: find as many people as possible to donate stuffed animals in just three weeks.

"We care so much about Nick, even though we never got to meet him," Smothers said.

The emotions fueled the students to show up to the challenge.

"I never thought we'd get 600," Tarquinio said with a smile.

They actually ended up collecting 646 stuffed animals. 

On Wednesday, the students started packing and bagging them. Each stuffed animal will go to a child in the city who could really use it.

"I think it's a positive interaction that they can have with a police officer," said Jason Moseley with LMPD. "To see that we do care, and that we do want to see these kids grow up and live a happy life."

It's that very act of kindness that Rodman demonstrated so many times before in his short career as a police officer. It also taught Holy Cross students a lesson in life that Rodman learned in the same classrooms.

"It's nice to carry on his legacy and do this for kids," Smothers said.

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IMAGES | Thousands honor, pay tribute to fallen Louisville Metro Police Officer Nick Rodman

Family, friends and strangers from across the area pay respects to fallen LMPD Officer Nick Rodman

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