■ Kyle Selby / Reporter
“I just want my son to be remembered,” Joe Males told The Valley Chronicle back in March. Joe’s son, Nicholas Males, was a 28-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran whose life was taken too soon after being stabbed to death in a downtown Hemet parking lot on June 18, 2016. It was Father’s Day weekend.
Nick left behind two children, Faith, now 5, Mia, now 3, and his pregnant fiancée, Rosie, who gave birth just six months ago to their daughter, Nicole.
“All three kids will grow up without their father. They will only know him by pictures and by what family members tell them,” said Joe. “Three kids who would’ve had the best life with a father who loved them and worked hard for them, who educated himself with degrees from a renowned technical college, was brutally murdered and taken away from his kids, whom he loved so much.”
On Saturday, Sept. 23 (also Joe’s 62nd birthday), Harley Nation Clothing Company hosted a fundraiser for Nick’s three children at Hooters Restaurant in South Gate, California, inviting the biker community to come together and share the love.
“We had a great time. [It was] for the kids, to give them something to help them out,” said Joe.
“[Nick] was going to give the kids everything they needed in life. I just want to make sure they get that.”
A DJ entertained the crowd of more than 200 attendees, while they raffled prizes, ate food, and showed off their bikes outside the restaurant. The event raised a little more than $1,200.
“I myself, wish I could give them more,” added Joe. “I want to make sure they get what they deserve, because it was taken away from them. Everybody lost something when he was killed.”
Joe is organizing another fundraiser, which will be held at Gibbel Park in Hemet on Dec. 9. The fundraiser will host both softball and horseshoe tournaments and car and motorcycle shows. Guest speakers, vendors, and a live performance by SOTO, a Latin-American rock band who’s worked with names like Earth, Wind & Fire, James Brown, and Whitney Houston are expected.
Event guidelines and pricing are as follows: Softball entry, per team: $240; Horseshoe entry, per player, $20 (doubles, $35); Car show entry, per vehicle, $25; Motorcycle entry, per bike, $20.
Additionally, Males has started a GoFundMe page for the children titled “Nicholas Males Kids Scholarship,” where he hopes to raise $30,000 for their future education.
Nick’s murder case remains unsolved. Joe says that the last thing Hemet Detective Klinzing told him is that Nick’s case would stay open, but it has since been categorized as a cold case.
“I can cry every day, or I can be bitter every day, but I choose to live every day instead,” said Males. “Because I believe that I will see him again, when I go.”