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NORRIDGEWOCK (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- When Brandi Ireland heard one of her hometown heroes had been killed she knew she wanted to do something.
Little did she know, her idea to sell handmade bracelets to honor the life of Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole, and raise money for his family, would take off like wildfire.
"I don't want this to be about me, because it's not," Ireland said, as she continued working on a bracelet. "It's about his family, his legacy and all the lives he touched along the way."
Over the weekend she decided to string 13 blue beads onto navy blue string in honor of the time Cpl. Cole served, as well as the thin blue line police officers face every single day. It's packaged with a card that has Cole's face on it as well as an explanation of the "thin blue line."
"In the context of maintaining order during unrest," the card reads. "The thin blue line flag stands for the sacrifice law enforcement officers of this nation make each day."
Ireland and her family described Cole as the "grandfather" type. He was always watching over the community, he always made people feel like they were safe.
"He treated everyone the same," Ireland said. "Even if they were criminals, he was kind to everyone."
Since Ireland posted the bracelets on Facebook she has had hundreds of people share and reach out to purchase the keepsake. In less than 48 hours the bracelets raised more than $1,000 for the Cole family.
"It's been hard keeping up with the demand," Ireland said. "But I have had help, I couldn't have done this alone."
Surrounding her at the table were her nieces, sister, mother and friend Missy Steward. Steward actually works with Cole's brother at the New Balance Factory in Skowhegan. She said she didn't know him personally but wishes she had shared the relationship with him that so many did.
"They are men who kind of stand back and do a lot for the community and they don't expect anything," Steward said. "And to lose people like that is really hard — they're just special people."
Every penny collected will be donated to the Cole family.
The women said they will keep making the bracelets as long as people are asking for them. So far, the supplies they have used have been donated. A Bangor police officer is expected to bring supplies to them Wednesday morning because their local A.C. Moore ran out of the supplies they needed.
The bracelets are being sold for $6 a piece and can be purchased at the Norridgewock town office.
This story will be updated.