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Outpouring of financial support for Ainsworth family

Monday, January 30, 2012 - 9:39am

NEW ORLEANS, LA (FOX8) -- An Algiers Point church used their annual king cake kick off fundraiser as a benefit for the good samaritan murdered this past Wednesday.

Church leaders say people from not only New Orleans, but across the country are pouring in donations for the family.
The annual Mardi Gras king cake kickoff event at Trinity Lutheran Church in Algiers Point normally raises money for the church, but this year, the fundraiser had a new purpose.

“In the wake of the murder on Wednesday, it was really gratifying to me, our members came to me, and said, hey, we're doing this anyway, that kinda touched me, it was all their idea. They just wanted to make sure all the proceeds for this event go to the family to help them,” said Rev. Kelly Bedard, Pastor at Trinity Lutheran church.

Bedard says the family of Harry “Mike” Ainsworth, killed trying to help a woman being carjacked are getting donations from across the country.

“And when it was mentioned they had trouble with funeral expenses, we took an offering on the spot," said Bedard "It was gratifying to see all the money that came in.”

“The unfortunate accident happened, so we just decided it was a good thing to do,” said Algiers resident Erlene Lodriguss.

Bedard says this was the idea of St. Lutheran life long member, Erlene Lodriguss.
“It was the perfect timing to try and help this family, they desperately need help,” said Lodriguss.

“I think it's wonderful, I just contributed something, and I think the Algiers people stick together whenever there's a need, people turn out,” said Algiers resident Irene Burrus.
“It's important, because if not, it would be just chaos. We all have to chip in and help each other and our neighbors,” said Algiers Point resident Valerie Massimi, “I hope my neighbors look out for me, I'll look out for them, and we have to keep the crime down, if we can, if it's possible.”

Massimi says this isn't the first victim of violent crime in her community she's given money for.
“There's been others in the past years. But to have his two children witness his murder, by some thug, it's appalling, it's unconscionable, so yes, we all try to at least support the family if we can,” said Massimi.

“This is a wonderful neighborhood, and it's a tragic thing that happened, it could happen anywhere,” said Lodriguss.
Ainsworth's killer is still on the loose, and despite the NOPD’s intense investigation along with help from the FBI, and the Guardian Angels, the shooter still hasn't even been identified.

If you can help identify the suspect, Crimestoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for tips that lead to an arrest.


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