Fundraiser held in honor of Tom Dotterer
It was a shooting that could have ended in tragedy. Instead, friends and family of Tom Dotterer have a new appreciation for life. Our Cara Thomas takes us to a fundraiser honoring the well-known coach, where money was raised for a cause close to Dotterer's heart.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. --As a business owner and a baseball coach for Christian Brothers Academy, Tom Dotterer is a staple in the Syracuse community.
"The man legitimately is the most humble person I've ever met," said John Falge, Dotterer's cousin and a Pastime Athletic Club Board Member.
"Great guy, all around great coach, teacher, person," said Tim Corapi, a CBA Baseball Player.
But in January, Dotterer was put in a situation that could have ended his life. He was shot in the eye during an armed robbery at his liquor store.
Corapi remembers, "I was just devastated. I just stopped studying I just didn't know what to think. Something happened like that to someone I knew, like I didn't think it was real."
Now more than a month later, friends, family, and his baseball players are coming together holding a fundraiser in his name.
"They just wanted to put something together and have a day to honor him and to say how much we appreciate him and we're so happy by the grace of God that he's still with us," said Falge.
Some people were hoping that the money raised at Sunday's event would go towards Dotterer's medical bills, or advancements in the store's security, but Dotterer wouldn't have it. Instead the money will go to a cause dear to his heart, the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Syracuse.
Dotterer's son, Henry, says, "In the liquor store there he's had a box labeled abused children for years, I don't know maybe 10 to 15 years. And customers if they have a quarter or change they throw it in there. And over the years he's given thousands through our church for the cause of abused children."
Dotterer was unable to make it to the fundraiser. Late last week, he began experiencing complications and was brought in for surgery. So from the event, people sent love and well wishes his way.
Mike Lanzafame, another CBA Baseball Player, said, "I hope you get well, and hope to see you back on the field coach."
Family members say the surgery went well and recovery should take a few days.
Dotterer sent a few remarks for his son to read at the fundraiser. He said the biggest lesson he's learned since the shooting, is asking for and offering forgiveness.