Family of officer thanks community for support
By Jake May
The Grand Rapids Press
GRAND RAPIDS -- Sitting amid a packed house at The Intersection Thursday night, five siblings of slain Grand Rapids Police Officer Robert Kozminski looked over the crowd at the fundraiser concert for their young niece and said they were overwhelmed by the community support following this week's death of their brother.

"It's just unbelievable. There are no words that can describe what the community has done," said Nickie Coretti, 34, of Grand Rapids, the officer's sister. "We just have to say thank you to everyone who helped."

Coretti, her sisters Kristen Mahoney and Amy Haisma, and brothers Andy and Dan Kozminski, said they are especially touched by everything people have done for Kozminski's 3-year-old daughter, Kailey Ann.

"So many people have donated," Mahoney said. "The food, the flowers, the greeting cards -- many from complete strangers. And the stuffed animals for Kailey. The support is so great."

The support continued to roll in Thursday, with the concert at The Intersection raising $12,000 for the fund for Kozminski's daughter. It featured three bands and originally was intended as B-93's afterparty for the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert at Van Andel Arena.

Kailey's fund received a boost from the country superstar couple, who gave $5,000, radio officials said.

Kozminski's siblings visited the concert Thursday after attending their brother's visitation at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.

The officer's funeral was to be there at 11 a.m. today.

Kozminski, 29, was shot and killed early Sunday while responding to a domestic violence call on the city's Northeast Side. The suspect, Jeffrey VanVels, is being held without bond in the Kent County Jail.

Dan, 35, said his younger brother loved sports, and the brothers would spend hours engrossed in college football and high school basketball.

"He just loved sports," Dan Kozminski said. "That's all there was to it. We'd go out to the best high school football game on Friday nights just to watch the teams play."

Andy Kozminski, 30, said Robert was more than a brother. He was a good friend.

"He's always there for you," Andy said. "Always keeping in touch, that's how it was."

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