MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) -- A fundraiser for "Dominic's Ripple" kicked off Sunday afternoon, raising money to give back to the community and keep the memory of a 5-year-old boy alive.
"Thank you for all of your support. It has really helped us through this past year," said Meghan May, choking up as she spoke to the crowd.
Sunday's fundraiser was hosted in honor of Meghan's son Dominic.
"Dominic wanted to be a police officer. He loved animals, he loved helping others," Meghan said.
About a year ago, 5-year-old Dominic was hit and killed by a car. After his death, his family started to learn how many people's lives their son had touched.
"They were giving back to their community, things that they typically wouldn't do they were doing because of Dominic, because of our 5-year-old son," Meghan said.
Meghan wanted that to continue, so she started "Dominic's Ripple" to give back to the community her son loved.
"It's really just spreading kindness and helping others," she said.
Sunday afternoon, Meghan and her family hosted Dominic's Kickoff at Keva, a fundraiser complete with music, face painting and even a dunk tank. Meghan wants to raise money to give the Madison Police Department a new K9 unit in Dominic's memory.
Even Madison Police Chief Mike Koval joined in, taking several turns in the dunk tank. For Koval, Dominic's memory is something he carries with him every day.
"This one, perhaps because of the way that I had met him months earlier, has stayed with me and I think will stay with me until I leave this world," Koval said.
Meghan's message of spreading kindness, or "be the ripple," has inspired her friends as well.
"I think it makes me and other people want to do good in the world and pay it forward, and do good things for people all over the place," said Shannon Richards, a longtime friend and coworker of Meghan's.
Most importantly, the message has brought a community together to carry Dominic's legacy.
"It means that Dominic will live on. He will continue to help others, he will continue to spread kindness and compassion," Meghan said.
Sunday's goal was to raise $50,000 for the new K9 unit. Meghan said she probably will not know how much money they managed to raise until later in the week.
Meghan also said she is already planning for an event next year.