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
In March, Scarecrow asked patrons to “enjoy a pint and raise money for the fallen”. And they did just that. By selling Donation Shamrocks benefiting The BackStoppers at the Chesterfield restaurant, Scarecrow raised $1,700 for families of fallen first responders!
Thank you co-owners Chris Mertz and Shawn Mulholland and everyone at Scarecrow who sold the shamrocks. We are very grateful for this support, which helps us to help those who’ve lost a loved one in the line of duty.
Thank you everyone who supported The BackStoppers through the purchase of a Donation Shamrock this month. You help us to continue our cause of easing the burdens placed on families affected by tragedy.Read More
In May of last year, we announced that Mr. Paul Abrams, President and CEO of Edwin-Claude, Inc. had issued a challenge: add 200 new first responder members in 2015, and ECI would donate $10,000 to The BackStoppers Education Fund. We’re happy to announce first responders stepped up to the challenge and exceeded our goal. In 2015, we added over 230 new first responder members!
The BackStoppers would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this possible. Thank you to each and every first responder who became a member last year. Thank you everyone who helped us spread the word about the Challenge. Thank you Edwin-Claude, Inc. and Paul Abrams for your great support of our mission and the Education Fund, and for your work to increase awareness of The BackStoppers in our coverage area.
This wonderful support helps us to continue our mission, and we are very grateful.
Read about the BackStoppers Education Fund.
Last month, OG Hospitality Group raised a fantastic $80,000 for The BackStoppers! OG Hospitality staff members sold BackStoppers Bucks at each of their area restaurants, The Corner Pub & Grill, The Shack Breakfast & Lunch, and The Tavern Kitchen & Bar. Through the generosity of everyone who purchased the BackStoppers Bucks and support from substantial private donors, BackStoppers Month was a great success.
We are very grateful to co-owners Brant Baldanza and John Fogarty, great supporters Mike and Carolyn, the hard working staff, and everyone who supported the fundraiser by purchasing BackStoppers Bucks. Thank you to everyone who helped raise $80,000 in one month! This dedication and continued support helps us to help families of those who’ve made 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.
We’ve received a record breaking $443,836.50 from the 29th Annual Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses! This donation brings the total raised since 1987 to an incredible $5.5 million.
“Without the support of Guns ‘N Hoses, we would not be able to support the 75 families with 64 children who unfortunately have lost loved ones,” said Chief Ron Battelle, Executive Director of The BackStoppers. “This donation will allow us to continue to provide the level of support our families need and to be a safety net for those families who lose a family member in the line of duty.”
“We are proud to continue to support the great work being done by The BackStoppers,” said David Stokes, president of the St. Louis Guns ‘N Hoses Boxing Association. “We hope this donation will make a difference in the lives of those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.”
We can’t thank Guns ‘N Hoses and everyone involved enough for this great support. Thank you to everyone who’s joined us on Thanksgiving Eve year after year, all the fighters, and everyone whose time and effort makes this possible. Your dedication helps us continue our mission of assisting the families of our fallen heroes.
We’ll see you in November at the 30th Annual Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses!Read More
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
We’re happy to announce that our first-ever BackStoppers Membership Drive held throughout the month of June was a success! Thank you to everyone who joined, renewed, and shared our mission with others. It is because of your membership, outreach, and support that we’re able to assist the families of our fallen heroes. We greatly appreciate your support as we continue toward our goal of 3,000 total members by the end of 2016. We know with your help, we can get there!
The Edwin-Claude, Inc. First Responder Membership Challenge is still going on! Mr. Paul Abrams and Edwin-Claude, Inc. have issued a challenge: if we add 200 new first responder members by the end of the year, ECI will donate $10,000 to The BackStoppers Education Fund. We look forward to the challenge and adding these new first responder members, and we thank Paul and Edwin-Claude, Inc. for their generosity and commitment to our mission.
We asked BackStoppers supporters to share our mission, posts, and news stories on social media during our June Membership Drive, and we cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support we saw. Your outreach speaks volumes of your commitment to our mission. Thank you for your dedication! Thank you for helping us to help the families of our fallen heroes.Read More
Beginning on June 1st, we are kicking off our first-ever BackStoppers Membership Drive. The membership drive will take place throughout the month of June, and we’re excited to make this an annual event! There are currently just over 2,000 BackStoppers members. We’ve set a modest goal of increasing membership to 3,000 members by the end of 2016.
We’re also very pleased to announce the Edwin-Claude, Inc. First Responder Membership Challenge. Mr. Paul Abrams, President and CEO of Edwin-Claude, Inc., has been a great BackStoppers supporter and member for many years. Paul has issued a challenge: if we add 200 new first responder members by the end of the year, ECI will donate $10,000 to The BackStoppers Education Fund. We look forward to the challenge and adding these new first responder members, and we thank Paul and Edwin-Claude, Inc. for their generosity and commitment to our mission.
We thank you for your help in spreading the word, raising awareness of our mission and membership drive, and supporting our cause of helping the families of our fallen heroes. In 2014, The BackStoppers provided nearly $1.4 million in assistance to the families we serve. Membership dues totaled almost $600,000. We are so grateful for this generous support. It is this dedication to our mission that helps us to continue to assist the families we serve.
Become a BackStopper today!Read More