FAIR LAWN, N.J. – A strong turnout is expected for this Saturday’s 3rd Annual MAC136 Scholarship Foundation Event to raise money for the Police Officer Mary Ann Collura Scholarship Fund.
The free event will be held from 3-11 p.m. at the Fair Lawn Athletic Club, 14-19 Parmelee Ave.
15% of the Athletic Club’s proceeds will be donated to the scholarship fund named for Collura, a popular officer who was shot and killed coming to the aid of a fellow officer trying to arrest a murderous ex-con in April 2003.
Food donated by local businesses will be served and entertainment provided.
50/50 drawings and raffles will be held.
MAC136 t-shirts, pins and pint glasses will be available for sale.
Bartenders will volunteer their time and donate their tips.
INFO: P.O. Karen Censullo at (201) 794-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
An 18-year veteran, Collura was Fair Lawn’s first female police officer and a shining light throughout the community. A memorial statue outside police headquarters depicts her giving the sticks to a group of youngsters.
Her badge number, 136, is a familiar sight around town and beyond.
A lifelong borough resident, Collura attended William Paterson College. She was so dedicated to public service that she nearly joined the Army before volunteering with the borough’s police reserves. Three years later, she was in uniform with the Fair Lawn Police Department.
“I wanted to be on the road, taking it as it comes,” Collura once said, explaining her reason for becoming an officer.
The words still haunt those who loved her – among them, those who still visit her grave in George Washington Memorial Park.
A Clifton colleague was chasing a speeding ex-con on Route 46 when the pursuit headed into Fair Lawn. Collura was on her way when the driver — a 23-year-old drug dealer from Passaic named Omar Marti — lost control of his car, which ended up on the lawn of Van Riper Ellis Broadway Baptist Church on River Road.
Marti tried to run, but the Clifton cop tackled him and was trying to pepper-spray him when Collura arrived.
Marti, desperate not to go back to prison, pulled a gun and fired, hitting Collura twice. He then shot the other officer, got behind the wheel of Collura’s cruiser and drove over her while speeding off.
Collura was pronounced dead soon after she was attacked.
She was only 43.
Investigators from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office tracked Marti to a town just outside Tampa, Fla., where he was killed in a shootout with area sheriff’s officers.