BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A local community is coming together to support the family of the officer who suddenly died from a stroke, with a benefit. Tony’s Pizza, in Bayville, New Jersey, is a popular eatery, but during the benefit, the restaurant is teeming.
“It’s probably the busiest lunch I’ve had since we opened,” says Tony Vitiello.
He is “that guy” in Bayville, Berkeley Township, who opens his heart and his business when a neighbor’s in need.
“I’m from this town and I like to help people. The right thing to do,” Tony explains.
Everybody packed in here came to do the right thing, to help these people, the two and four-year-old children of 32-year-old SGT Alison Wray. She suddenly died of a stroke last week at the end of her shift.
“I think it’s really gonna hit us probably over the weekend. It happened so quickly and we really haven’t had a chance to process what happened,” says Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato.
They automatically jump into “help” mode.
“You’re never ready for death,” Vietnam Vet and Councilman Jim Byrnes says.
Byrnes, Mayor Amato, other township officials and SGT Wray’s fellow policemen in blue, many who worked under her command. People who knew her, people who didn’t, they’re all here.
“Everybody just does the right thing, whatever’s right for the people and that’s it,” Councilman Byrnes explains.
Tom Grosse is a Toms River Detective and Berkeley Councilman, but he says when a young mother and cop suddenly dies, you just react like a human being.
“You sit there and you think about it and you think wow, it could happen to anybody at any time. Just live everything like it can be your last. It’s sad,” Grosse says.