Today is the nine-year anniversary of the death of Sgt. Jeffry Kowalski of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, EOW 10/01/08. His daughter, Madison, shares her father’s legacy and how she finds strength after the unimaginable.
“It’s going on 10 years now. A decade. Think of all the milestones and memories you gather during 10 years. You graduate high school, then college, start your adult job, have your own place, meet the man you love and start your life. 10 years of moments filled without the person you love most and who created you– the person who made the absolute best of you, the one who never doubted if you had fallen but instead gave you the strength to get back up, the person you loved more than yourself. My father, Sgt. Jeffry Kowalski (SLMPD) died almost 10 years ago, but it still feels like he was here yesterday.
I think the biggest reason this void in my life hasn’t been as difficult as others is solely because of the support given through The BackStoppers. They have given me the unwavering support and love I know my father would have given. They displayed loyalty and faith in not only our family but the future success that they knew we could achieve. The BackStoppers supported us and opened their arms before anyone else with no questions asked.
They knew my father’s case was special but realized he died over and over again for the people of Saint Louis when he could have easily walked away. Much like The BackStoppers, my father continued to do what was right with just knowing that the greater good was at stake. The BackStoppers gave us hope for the future and humanity through their numerous acts of kindness. Due to this, I often find myself overwhelmed with gratitude and the sense of wanting to give back to each and every person who donated to this elite organization. Each one of you is the reason I am still standing today, and I can’t thank you enough for supporting not just my family but every surviving family that The BackStoppers supports. Thank you, a million times, over. -With the most humility -Madison A Kowalski”
The BackStoppers currently assists 82 families with 66 dependent children and has supported 161 families since 1959. Our assistance is immediate and ongoing. The BackStoppers’ mission is to financially assist the families of first responders who die in the line of duty by paying off all debt, assuming financial obligations such as mortgage payments, taxes, providing health and dental insurance, and helping with the costs of elementary, secondary, and college/vocational education. Memberships fund our ongoing assistance and provide you with an easy way to support and grow The BackStoppers. To learn more about becoming a BackStopper please visit http://BackStoppers.org/membership/Read More
A small but powerful group of supporters, Bridge Haven, has dedicated eight years of support to the BackStoppers. This year the group raised over $17,000 for BackStoppers. Since 2010 the Bridge Haven group has played for BackStoppers at their Annual Bridge Pro-Am Tournament. The first year they raised $3,500 but as of today they have supported BackStoppers with over $67,000! The tournament this year was held at the St. Louis Bridge Center where there was record breaking bids to play with a Bridge Pro. Not only does St. Louis recognize these Bridge Pros, in 2013 their BackStoppers event was featured in a column of the New York Times! We cannot thank Bridge Haven enough for this incredible dedication of our mission!
Read the New York Times Article HereRead More
Our friends at Fine Art Ltd are supporting The BackStoppers with a fantastic promotion now through the month of September! In addition to their discounted pieces, 40% to 80% off, Fine Art Ltd. is donating 10% of all sales to BackStoppers. A special piece has been dedicated in honor of The BackStoppers which will be available for purchase.
“The Last Painting-Untitled” by Frederic Remington was chosen to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the US Marshals Service. The painting was Remington’s final piece completed in 1909 just before he died of appendicitis. The painting was owned and exhibited by the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, New York, and was chosen by Lowell McAllister, the Executive Director of the Museum, and Stanley Morris, Director of the US Marshals Service under Ronald Reagan. Fine Art ltd. has worked with the US Marshals in handling the printing and distribution of this edition with a serigraph to ensure the quality of the piece. The print is signed by Lowell McAlister indicating authenticity and to ensure that no other silk screens would be produced of this painting. Stanley Morris has also signed the print to certify the Remington was an officially recognized project of the US Marshals Bicentennial.
A special touch as been added to the frame of this piece. Our Executive Director, Chief Ron Battelle, has signed a card imbedded in the frame alongside of the BackStoppers logo.
To see an exclusive interview with Chief Ron Battelle and Fine Art Ltd’s President, Jack Scharr further discussing this historic piece for sale click here.
See Fine Art Ltd Ad Here
For more information please contact Fine Art Ltd at (636)-537-1500
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Friday: 10am to 4pm
Saturday- Monday: Closed
Saturday-Monday: Closed636) 537-1500
Elizabeth Snyder and her family are starting a new chapter of life accompanied with challenges and change. Courageously she remains to shine a light and honor her husband, Officer Blake Snyder of the St. Louis County Police Department, EOW 10/06/2016. Months have passed since Blake Snyder was killed in the line of duty, but Elizabeth and her son Malachi strive to be a voice in the community, and hope for a brighter future.
Being a mother of a young son, Elizabeth beams at her son’s growth, and shares how Malachi remembers his father, “He’s a very happy little boy and seems to mature more each day. He misses his daddy, though. We talk about Blake often and I am constantly reminding him of who his father was and what he has done for all of us. Malachi definitely remembers him but knows something ‘not right’ has happened”. Along with parenting, Elizabeth has moved to a new home with Malachi, and has also gained a new family member, Hank.
“Hank, the new puppy, is awesome,” Elizabeth gushes. “He’s a wonderful puppy and oh so good with Chi. He loves him and is constantly playing him with. He’s growing so fast, and has almost tripled in size since coming home with us”. Relocating to a new place, Elizabeth explains how the transition has helped her family, “We love our new home! We are very pleased and ever grateful for the relocation and the house. Living near my brother and Malachi’s cousins has been very good for the both of us. It has been so important for us to be near family in the last seven months”.
Many experiences and opportunities have presented themselves to Elizabeth. Perhaps one of the greatest experiences was a visit to Washington D.C. in February to hear the President speak. Elizabeth was accompanied by her brother, Officer Justin Sparks with the St. Louis County Police Department. “Our trip to Washington D.C. was, in a word, surreal. It was something out of the movies. We were honored and excited to be guests of Rodney Davis and Ann Wagner. While there, we were able to visit the White House as well as meet Vice President Pence. He was a very genuine and heartwarming man. I could tell that he truly cared about what happened to Blake and seems to want to make a true difference in our nation. I was in awe watching President Trump give his address. I felt humbled to be in a place where so much history was contained. President Trump’s speech was thrilling and offered a gesture of hope for our first responders. I am truly grateful to have had such an experience”.
Making a change and shining a light on law enforcement has been in sight for Elizabeth, and she is determined to continue to have her voice and story heard. “I will continue to advocate for law enforcement and for all of our first responders, in any way that I can. I will use what resources I have to help those who do not have a voice”. When asked about any future endeavors Elizabeth continues, “I also plan to write a book detailing my journey. I hope that what I write can be a beacon to others in my own or a similar situation, while also shedding light on the plights that our officers face each day”.
Through the pain and trials of this new life, Elizabeth professes to always have hope and faith. “There is always hope. There is always another day, and there is always someone out there who cares. Whether you are going through depression, a divorce, financial issues, or even a death – there is ALWAYS hope. I’ve lost my best friend, my husband. I’ve been persecuted, called names and have been told what to do. But I have held onto my faith, my God, our son, and my family. They are my hope”.
The community has embraced Elizabeth and her family in an incredible way by showing support and love. The overwhelming response has left the Snyders in a state of gratitude. “To our community – thank you. Our world was tossed upside down in an instant, and our community was there every step of the way. We are so thankful to have such amazing citizens supporting us and supporting our law enforcement. I will forever love my St. Louis community. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
The BackStoppers helps many families who like, Elizabeth and Malachi, have been affected by tragedy. By providing a way to a new beginning, and remembering the ultimate sacrifice of the hero that they have lost. Speaking of The BackStoppers, Elizabeth says, “BackStoppers is an absolutely amazing organization. They are truly guardian angels. What they do for families of the fallen is beyond wonderful and I hope the community knows that. Each individual from The BackStoppers has a heart of gold, and we couldn’t be more thankful for them”.Read More
The Warren County BackStoppers Committee presented The BackStoppers, Inc. a $70,000 check! This dedicated group of Warren County first responders and community leaders have presented BackStoppers with $380,000 within the last seven years. We are extremely grateful for the incredible support and dedication to the our fallen heroes that this group has displayed. Thank you, Warren County!Read More
Woodard’s Raffle is back! And it’s even bigger than before. Woodard Cleaning and Restoration’s 2016 raffle drawing is this Monday, November 21st. That means there is not much time left to get your tickets for some of the greatest raffle prizes to be offered in one single fundraiser. This dedicated group hopes to far exceed last year’s total raised. You can help them out by purchasing a chance to win a Yeti Tundra Cooler, Stainless Steel Gas Grill, and more. Take a look at what Woodard has to say about their raffle that supports the families of fallen heroes:
“Woodard is dedicated to partnering with The BackStoppers in our biggest fundraiser of the year because we have such close relationships with first responders in St. Louis and surrounding areas. We feel the pain when one of these heroes is lost or severely injured, and admire the work that The BackStoppers organization does to support these heroes and their families. Through our raffle fundraiser and our Guns ‘N Hoses sponsorship, we raise tens of thousands of dollars each year for this wonderful organization, and we plan to continue our support in the future. Last year’s raffle raised almost $30,000 for The BackStoppers, and our goal this year is to raise $50,000. To help foster our efforts this year, we have partnered with local Fire Protection Districts, Police Departments, businesses, and our Woodard staff to sell raffle tickets, with all proceeds going directly to The BackStoppers and Guns ‘N Hoses.”
Get your tickets in these final three days before Monday’s big drawing, and catch Ring of Champions sponsor Woodard Restoration in the ring at Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses on Thanksgiving Eve presenting their check to support our mission.
Visit Woodard Cleaning and Restoration’s Facebook page for more information and photos from last year’s raffle drawing celebration. Contact the Woodard Team at (314) 300-9567, at their website, or on Facebook for details to purchase tickets. Tickets are only $10 each or 6 for $50. Check out some of the great prizes below!
The first issue of The BackStoppers Newsletter is in the mail! We wish to thank Jerry Kiske, Jr and Mulligan Printing, Firefighter Dave Marlo and the Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri IAFF Local 2665, and Heather Hussey for making our first edition possible.
If you would like your street address added to our newsletter mailing list, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More
Thank you for your visiting BackStoppers.org! We’re glad you’re here. Explore the site to learn about how we help the families of fallen first responders, BackStoppers fundraisers and events, becoming a BackStopper, and more. Contact us with any questions. Your support of our mission helps us to continue our cause of supporting the families of our fallen heroes – thank you!Read More