The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization dedicated to promoting and conducting educational, charitable, religious and social welfare works, are seeking to raise $25,000.
Brian Allen, who organized the fundraiser on behalf of the organization and the church, said they’re honored to work with Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy to help raise the necessary funds to restore the statues.
“We were all saddened and hurt by last week’s senseless attack,” Allen told QNS in a statement. “However, the support from the community has been overwhelming. It has been truly humbling and inspiring to see over 125 families quickly step forward to support our campaign, which has already raised almost $20,000 in less than a week.”
Donations can also be sent directly to the rectory at Our Lady of Mercy Church, located at 70-01 Kessel St. in Forest Hills.
In the early morning of July 17, the statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Therese the Little Flower that have stood outside of the Forest Hills church since 1937, were dragged across 70th Avenue where they were smashed with a hammer, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The following day, police released surveillance footage of a female suspect vandalizing the statues. The video shows the woman repeatedly slamming the statues to the ground, causing them to break. The woman then fled the scene.
Police say the suspect is in her mid-20s, with a medium complexion, average build and wearing all black clothing.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit and the 112th Precinct are investigating the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477).
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.