A 9-year-old girl gives gift cards to member of the Ontario County Sheriff's Office, to honor the late Deputy Josh Shaver
UPDATE: A correction was made to the names of SarahRae's grandparents, due to incorrect information inadvertently provided to the Messenger:
HOPEWELL — Surrounded by family and friends in uniform who worked with her cousin, the late Josh Shaver, SarahRae Bartello had one thing to say about how she raised well over $1,000.
“I sold a lot of lemonade,” she said.
Nine-year-old SarahRae of Gates is second cousin of Correction Officer Shaver, an Ontario County deputy who died May 28, 2017. This July, SarahRae put on a fundraiser, “Project SarahRae’s Lemonade Stand,” at Honeoye Commons. From sales of lemonade and beaded bracelets she had made, SarahRae raised enough to buy 342 Tim Hortons gift cards, each in the amount of $5, for all the members of the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office. She actually was able to buy 360, said her mom Carla Bartello, who said she plans to give them to the Gates Police Department and other local law enforcement officers.
The number 342 is significant. That was the Sheriff’s Office radio identification number for Deputy Shaver.
Along with the gift cards, SarahRae gave dog treats for the four canines assigned to the Sheriff’s Road Patrol.
A note SarahRae attached to each gift card read in part, “Joshua had an energetic and vibrant personality just like SarahRae! He was always helping others in some way! His life goal at a young age was to work in law enforcement to help people! SarahRae would like you to enjoy a treat in memory of her cousin, Ontario County Sheriff Deputy 342, Joshua Shaver.”
The presentation on Tuesday afternoon in the lobby of the Ontario County Jail held words of appreciation for law enforcement as well as for SarahRae, for her thoughtful and creative project in memory of a beloved officer and family man.
Deputy Shaver, who grew up in Honeoye, died as a result of injuries suffered in a vehicle crash shortly after completing a work shift with the Sheriff’s Office. He was 35. He left behind his wife, Mary, and two young daughters. A huge supporter of local law enforcement and the Badge of Honor Association, Deputy Shaver not long before he died received the Lifesaver Award on Law Day in Ontario County.
At Tuesday’s event, SarahRae received an official Ontario County Sheriff’s Office baseball cap, which she proudly wore as the perfect complement to her Team Josh T-shirt and “342” bracelet.
“Thank you for all your support for these great officers,” Sheriff Phil Povero told her.
Povero said SarahRae will be nominated for a “Do the Right Thing Award.” The award program recognizes area students who have shown that they made the right choices distinguishing themselves as role models and leaders among their peers and community.
SarahRae, who lives in Gates, is an avid swimmer and soccer player — she prefers playing the position of goalie — and recently completed her first 5K through the Girls on the Run program. She completed her fifth year of the AWANAS program, through the Christian nonprofit organization, earning her Alpha and 1st Silver awards. She is the daughter of Carla and Dave Bartello; and the granddaughter of Carl and Lorraine Beach of Honeoye, Beth Bartello of Greece, and Jim Bartello and Regina Ruebsamen of Syracuse.
For more on SarahRae's efforts, visit the Facebook page, “Project SarahRae”