Community surprises Wis. police officer battling cancer with new car

CORNELL, Wis. -- A Wisconsin community surprised the family of one of their police officers with a new car.

The officer's wife said her husband is battling cancer and the gift could really help the family.

When Cornell Police Officer Luke Abbate was recently diagnosed with cancer, the small community he serves jumped into action.

"He's an all-around a great guy to work with, and there's nothing more you can really say about the guy," said Cornell Police Chief Brian Hurt.

"The teachers were talking about what we could do to possibly help and support this family, going through this issue. And then we just put the dots together, and here we are," said Niki Hale, who nominated the Abbate family along with Kaylee Hurth.

Here was outside of the Cornell Police Department, where on Friday morning, Luke's wife, Alayna, was surprised with a new car as part of Morrie's Mazda 60 Days of Giving Campaign, reports WQOW.

"We made the trip up here. We know what you guys are going through with what's happening down there with you, Luke. That really moved us all," said Bill Bertrand of Morrie's Mazda.

"We didn't know what was going on, but here we are. We got a car," Alayna Abbate said.

Luke couldn't be there in person because he's being treated in Rochester, Minnesota.

In the past, that left Alayna stuck at home without a car. But now, all that's changed.

"It means a lot. We have a second vehicle, I can go see my husband, drive to the hospital and see him," Alayna Abbate said.

"They're just fantastic people, so we thought this would really serve the need to help their family and to really kind of get them through this time that they're going through, which is obviously very challenging," Bertrand said.

"There's really no words to, you know, say how excited we were. Cause something like this, you know, you just don't see happen in such a small community all the time," said Kaylee Kurth.

A community that's happy to hold down the fort and lift up Luke's family until he's back home.

The 60 Days of Giving Campaign has been going on for about six or seven years now. But this year -- for the first time -- the dealership partnered with mega-holiday co-op and donated a year's worth of free gas to the Abbate family.