Rock concert tribute for fallen officer

A benefit concert was held in remembrance of Scarborough resident Sgt. Ryan Russell at the Mod Club last Thursday.

A veteran of the Toronto Police Service, Russell, 35, was killed in the line of duty Jan. 12 after being struck by a stolen snow plow near Davenport Rd.

Florida-based rock band Black Star Whisky headlined, as money raised went to Russell’s wife Christine and two-year-old son Nolan.

Band member Wade Sabourin said he thought it his obligation to help the family. He contacted Toronto resident and bandmate Vic Abade to help put this event together.

Four other bands performed, including Crucial Volume, Sweet Fire, Mcrae and Retro Boogie — the latter two having members who are  Toronto police officers.

Buying a commemorative T-shirt and pin at the event, Toronto paramedic, Taz Mouhteros, said he is glad everything raised during the benefit went to the Russell family.

“Events like these are a major necessity for slain officers,” Mouhteros said.

Russell’s “son’s going to go through life without his father, only in memory,” said Mouhteros, a single dad.

A giant banner hung across one side of the club reading “A Hero Lives Forever,” with a picture of the Russell family in remembrance.

“It’s not all about the money,” Mouhteros said.

“It’s the emotional support [which] goes farther than monetary issues.”

A day after the benefit concert, Sabourin and Abade dropped by 52 Division, where Russell worked and presented $1,460.

Other divisions are participating in the commemoration as well. Officers from 55 Division played shinny at Kew Gardens Park last week in honour of Russell, who was an avid hockey fan.

Many more events such as this will happen throughout the year and in years to come, according to Black Star Whisky.