June 8, 2020 - 4:13 am
Updated June 8, 2020 - 6:53 am
Many family members of Las Vegas police officer Shay Mikalonis, who was wounded when he was shot in the neck during a protest on the Strip last week, hail from Dearborn, Michigan, the hometown of Henry Ford and home to Ford Motor Co.’s world headquarters.
The Detroit suburb also is well-known for pepperoni rolls, which have been a feature of Capri Bakery in east Dearborn for decades.
On Friday, the bakery shipped more than three dozen of its famous rolls and two unbaked pizzas to Las Vegas so the Mikalonis family would have some comfort food as it gathers in support of the recovering officer.
The shipment was partially inspired by Toni Mullan, the nurse manager of the trauma resuscitation center at University Medical Center, where the officer is recovering.
Mullan is a 1980 graduate of Dearborn Fordson High School, where Shay Mikalonis’ father, Guy Mikalonis, his uncle and aunt and several other family and friends who have since relocated to the Las Vegas Valley went to school.
She remembered the Mikalonis name from when Shay was at the hospital on police business a few years ago and thought there was a Dearborn connection. After Shay was shot and brought to her unit, she saw a social media post that clinched the Dearborn connection. She also discovered that one of her brothers graduated from Fordson with Shay’s father.
Over the next several days, Mullan thought about doing something to make the family feel at home. A little taste of Dearborn, perhaps. “And the rolls are a staple of Dearborn, you know,” Mullan said.
“And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if they could have something, a comfort food?’ ” she said.
She called the bakery Thursday and asked about having its famous rolls — small loaves of Italian bread stuffed with pepperoni or pepperoni and mozzarella cheese —overnighted. An owner, Ronda Errigo, took the call and sent the shipment that night.
“She asked me, ‘Does this have something to do with the police officer?’ ” Mullan said. “When I told her, yes, well she’s crying.”
The shipment arrived at Mullan’s home, and she brought it to the hospital for the Mikalonis family and their friends.
Mullan was touched by the gesture and the big heart of her former hometown.
“Didn’t charge a penny,” Mullan said.