West Memphis restaurant proceeds go to families of fallen officers

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - All proceeds and tips at Bonanza Steakhouse in West Memphis, Arkansas went to help the families of fallen officers Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans Wednesday.

Managers said the previous one-day sales record for the steakhouse is more than $11,000.  They hoped to top $12,000 Wednesday.

Jennifer Stewart and other cops from around the Mid-South waited tables at the restaurant.

"There wasn't even a question," Stewart said.  "I called them right away."

In May, West Memphis Police officer Bill Evans and Sergeant Brandon Paudert were shot and killed on the side of I-40 during a traffic stop.

Dean Benson, reserve officer and general manager of Bonanza, said the restaurant will donate 100 percent of sales and tips to the families of both officers.

"Every time an officer puts on the uniform, there's a big risk that they're taking to protect everybody," Benson said.  "I want people to see what kind of community we really are."

Diners, like Christina Harrin, were happy to help.

"We wondered why the police were here," Harrin said.  "We walked up and saw the sign and then decided it was a good day to be here."

Stewart said waiting tables was the least she could do.

"I feel for the families and just thought it was the least I could do for the tragedy that happened," Stewart said.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.