CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Police Officer Danny Golden is giving a big thank you to the community for their support following a shooting that left him paralyzed.
Golden was off-duty when he was shot while breaking up a fight outside a bar in Beverly in July 2022.
Now, months later, Golden said he wants to show his gratitude as he continues to recover.
While the injured police office was very much at the center of Saturday's event, he says it was not about him, but about giving back to the community that has backed him since he was shot back on July 9.
It was a day of fun of ice-skating, face-painting and cotton candy. But more importantly for Chicago Police Officer Golden, it was a way to say thank you.
RELATED: Chicago Police Officer Danny Golden welcomed home from rehab by hundreds along route
"Since I was in the hospital when I first came to, seeing all the social media, especially from over here, kids in my neighborhood, lemonade stands, just young kids out there trying to do something it was uplifting," Golden said.
It's been just over six months since Golden, a 6-year-veteran of the Chicago police department was paralyzed, after being shot in the back following a bar fight prosecutors said he was trying to break up. So far, this close-knit Far South Side community has helped raise nearly $1.5 million to help with his medical bills and rehab. And so, holding today's event, at Mt Greenwood Park was for Danny a must do.
"All these kids they grow up the same was as me, watching their fathers and mothers and neighbors put a uniform on, and go to work every day. In 10-15 years, these same kids are going to wear a uniform just like I did or the fire department," Golden said.
While life has clearly changed for Golden and his family, he is progressing, physically and mentally.
"He has good days. He has bad days. He's up, he's down, but a lot of good days. He's learning how to drive a car, hoping to get a driver's license real soon," said Golden's father, Patrick.
RELATED: Chicago police officer injured in shooting hopes to gain mobility for wedding, father says
"It's lot easier than I thought. It's almost like driving a boat," Golden said.
But beyond feeling like a 16-year-old again, Golden is also planning an October 7 wedding and looking forward to eventually getting back to work-in some capacity-at CPD.
"I just wanted to do it my whole life. Finally got it. Fell in love with it and it's part of me now," he said.
Three men are charged in connection with his shooting. While Golden and his family try not to dwell on it, they said they do follow it, with a large contingent of supporters showing up at each and every court hearing.