Community organizes fundraiser for an officer who lost his wife and has 7 children

CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — The community stands behind a local police officer after tragedy struck his family.

Jessy, the wife of Hermitage police officer Jay Barnett, died suddenly last month. They have seven children.

Friends and family raised funds for Jay and his children.

“Jessy was homeschooled, as well as all extracurricular activities. So, we’re coming together to help Jay (Jason) get through this time where he’s going to need a little extra help,” said fundraiser organizer Breanna Dyson.

On Sunday, they hosted a spaghetti dinner.

Agent Burnett has done a lot for the surrounding community and now they want to give back.

“They would definitely do whatever they can for people in need,” said organizer Breana Dyson. “The kids and Jay and Jessy were part of many great organizations that give back to the community.”

Jay is an officer at Hermitage but lives in Kinsman. Her neighbor and family friend, Rachel Ward, wanted to make sure the family was taken care of as they grieved.

Rachel and Jessy’s children are friends and the two women share a bond as mothers.

“She was the best and really an inspiration to me, she could always find the silver lining in anything, no matter what,” Ward said.

They hosted a spaghetti dinner on Sunday at the Cortland Moose Lodge. This was to help cover some of the family’s daily expenses. They also hope to raise funds for a new vehicle for the Barnett family.

The spaghetti dinner will also include chances to win raffles and prizes and a bake sale.

The spaghetti supper was held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at the Cortland Moose Lodge near Route 46.

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