TAMPA — The Untouchables police motorcycle club plans to raffle a $379 Ruger LCP .380-caliber pistol and sell pork sandwiches Sunday to benefit the daughter of a slain Tampa detective.
Demetra Bell Jones, 38, has an immune disorder and requires a live-saving liver transplant, but her insurance will cover less than half of the $314,000 procedure at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, leaving a balance of $179,600.
Contributions from the public and Jones' family have reached about $100,000, her uncle Jeff Bell said. About $45,000 was raised through the website GoFundMe.com. The family opened a Wells Fargo account in Jacksonville and then redirected collection efforts Wednesday to a trust fund at the Bank of Tampa.
The motorcycle club's gun raffle tickets, $5 each, are available at Empire Guns & Pawn, 10552 N Florida Ave., Tampa, and may also be purchased Sunday at Harley-Davidson of Brandon, 9841 E Adamo Drive, where the event starts at 10 a.m. and the drawing is expected to take place at 2 p.m.
The winner must be 21 and eligible to own a gun in Florida.
Uninterested in firearms? Wholly Smokes Bar-B-Que will be offering benefit plates of pork sandwiches and beans for $5.
"For us to be able to pull together $1 here or $1 there to make it that much less of a burden on the family, I think it's just something we need to do," said Chuck Blount, 56, a retired Tampa police corporal who is one of the Untouchables.
Jones' father, Randy Bell, was killed with his partner in 1998 when a felon in custody, Hank Earl Carr, unlocked his handcuffs and grabbed a gun.
Staff writer Patty Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3382.