Last week, we learned that Joshua Ballman, son of fallen Officer Tom Ballman, had written a beautiful letter thanking The Corner Pub & Grill family of restaurants for their support of The BackStoppers. We were very touched by his kind words. It quickly became clear Joshua’s letter had a big impact on the community. Comments of support and gratitude poured in on social media. Many took time out of their day to share memories of Officer Ballman and tell Joshua he and his family remain in their thoughts.
The Corner Pub & Grill co-owner Brant Baldanza was no exception. He recently posted his heartfelt response, which we’re happy to share here-
We’re grateful to have the support of Brant Baldanza, Jon Fogarty, and everyone in The Corner Pub & Grill family to help us continue our mission.
It is an honor to help Joshua and his family. He’s a wonderful person, of whom we’re very proud. Joshua’s letter written from the heart is included here-
Officer Tom Ballman was killed in the line of duty on February 7th, 2008 when a man opened fire on a City Council meeting in Kirkwood, MO. After fatally shooting Sgt. Biggs outside, the gunman entered the meeting and approached and shot Officer Ballman. The man then killed three others and wounded two more. Officer Ballman had served with the Kirkwood Police Department for 9 years and was the department’s spokesperson and community service officer. He had previously served with the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department for two years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter. We are eternally grateful to Officer Tom Ballman for making the ultimate sacrifice for our safety.Read More
We have just learned of the line of duty death of Officer Ronald Strittmatter of the Lakeshire Police Department and are now assisting his family. Officer Strittmatter suffered a heart attack at home on January 3, 2015 following a shift during which he was on multiple calls.
Officer Strittmatter retired from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department after 24 years of service and had served with the Lakeshire Police Department for 4 years. He is survived by his wife and son, both of whom are police officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Strittmatter’s family, friends, and co-workers.
Officer Ronald Strittmatter
Lakeshire Police Department
With the addition of the family of Officer Ronald Strittmatter, we are now assisting 76 families with 63 dependent children and have assisted a total of 155 families since 1959.
The BackStoppers is now assisting the family of Sgt. Peggy Vassallo of the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department who died in the line of duty on August 24, 2015 while standing outside of a vehicle.
Sgt. Vassallo ran the D.A.R.E. and Neighborhood Watch programs and was the community relations officer for the department. She is survived by her husband and adult children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Vassallo’s family, friends, and co-workers.
Sgt. Peggy Vassallo
Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department
The BackStoppers is now assisting the family of City Marshal of Miramiguoa Village Kevin Dziejma who died in the line of duty on May 18, 2015 during a traffic stop.
Marshal Dziejma served as the City Marshal of Miramiguoa Village for five years. He is survived by two adult children, one of whom is a law enforcement officer in our coverage area.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Chief Dziejma’s family, friends, and co-workers.
Chief Kevin Dziejma
City Marshal of Miramiguoa Village
The BackStoppers is now assisting the family of Firefighter/Engineer Larry W. Lawhorn of the Orchard Farm Fire Protection District who died in the line of duty on May 3, 2015 while en route to a structure fire in Portage des Sioux.
Firefighter Lawhorn was a 17 year member of OFFPD and served with the St. Charles Fire Protection District 19 years prior to his time with Orchard Farm. He is survived by his wife and two adult children, one of whom serves as a firefighter in our region.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Firefighter Lawhorn’s family, friends, and co-workers.
Firefighter/Engineer Larry Lawhorn
Orchard Farm Fire Protection District