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Spotlight Supporters: Monroe County

The BackStoppers serves 18 counties in Missouri and Illinois. Because the region served by BackStoppers extends beyond St. Louis, we rely on groups of supporters who volunteer their time to help raise awareness of and funds for our mission in the outlying counties of our coverage area. These groups, called Outlying County Supporter Groups, are integral to the growth of our cause. We are honored to share with you the efforts of the Monroe County supporter group.

Monroe County BackStoppers

Fifteen years ago, Monroe County was added to the BackStoppers coverage area. Deputy Larry Gardner and Deputy Sgt. Dan Hannon of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department led the way for Monroe County BackStoppers by encouraging the community to support the mission of BackStoppers. Advisory Board member and Family Friend Deputy Larry Gardner reflects on the early stages of Monroe County BackStoppers, “We had huge support from local politicians, police and fire chiefs, the Sheriff and the general public. We knew Monroe County could generate the support we needed to become BackStoppers. Monroe County is supportive of all its law enforcement and emergency services”. 

Annual Trivia Night

The first Saturday in March holds a very special evening for Monroe County. Their annual Trivia Night, which brings in over $24,000 each year for BackStoppers, takes a large committee and months of preparation. Committee meetings beginning in January are held every other week leading up to the Trivia Night. “We have a great group of volunteers, in addition to our committee members, that donate time working our events. We have firefighters, police officers, paramedics and their spouses who religiously donate hours of their time to help. I can’t say enough about the group of people we have assembled on our committee. Every one of them brings something to the table. We could not begin to do this without each one of them”. This dedicated group executes the favored fundraiser that is not only a great time, but a chance to bring awareness to the cause.

Deputy Gardner shares one of his proudest moments of the annual Trivia Night, “It is a proud moment for us to present a large check to BackStoppers every year. It makes all the hard work worth it! I believe we might still be one of the largest fundraisers on this side of the river”. March 2019 will mark the 15th anniversary of the Trivia Night.

Brat Stop for BackStoppers

Monroe County continues to support and spread awareness of BackStoppers during the summer months. The Brat Stop fundraiser held in July draws in crowds with a massive, eye-catching banner and, of course, brats. Last summer Monroe County BackStoppers also participated in the Sonnebergs Big Green Eggs Festival. Because of the work of Monroe County and the support of the community, they have presented over $300,000 to BackStoppers throughout their history!

This small group with a big heart has plans to further engage the community. Recently, Monroe County has gained their own space where they are able to plan future fundraising events and generate support.

Beyond the organizing, coordinating and putting on great fundraisers, Monroe County has kept the families we assist their sole purpose. Deputy Gardner says, “BackStoppers’ mission is important because without BackStoppers a family could be totally devastated. To take away an income, not to mention the emotional stress of losing a spouse, father or a mother could lead to disaster for a family. With BackStoppers there will be no financial stress, and they will do what they can to help with the emotional stress. We feel very privileged to be a small part of this well respected organization”.

“We greatly appreciate the dedication of all those in Monroe County that help us to carry out our mission of serving families of fallen first responders. We could not do what we do without the continued loyalty and love from these friends of BackStoppers. Thank you, Monroe County!” —-Chief Ron Battelle, BackStoppers Executive Director. 

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Spotlight Supporters: Monroe County

The BackStoppers serves 18 counties in Missouri and Illinois.Because the region served by BackStoppers extends beyond St. Louis, we rely on groups of supporters who volunteer their time to help raise awareness of and funds for our mission in the outlying counties of our coverage area. These groups, called Outlying County Supporter Groups, are integral to the growth of our cause. In July, one such group called the BackStoppers of Monroe County presented over $30,000 to BackStoppers!

This generous support comes from the annual fundraising events held by Monroe Countyincluding a highly anticipated Trivia Night, Brat Stop and more. During Monroe County’s fourteen year history, they have contributed over $300,000 towards our mission! We would like to recognize and thank the committee members, volunteers and first responders that work very hard to make this incredible support and awareness happen. We will feature more on Monroe County and their efforts in the upcoming BackStoppers print newsletter mailing later this year!

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Spotlight Supporters: Warren County

The BackStoppers serves 18 counties in Missouri and Illinois. Because the region served by BackStoppers extends beyond St. Louis, we rely on groups of supporters who volunteer their time to help raise awareness of and funds for our mission in the outlying counties of our coverage area. These groups, called Outlying County Supporter Groups, are integral to the growth of our cause. We are honored to share with you the efforts of the Warren County supporter group.

Eight years ago, a dedicated group of individuals from Warren County decided to make a difference. The mission of BackStoppers hit close to home for Warren County when Officer Vernon Seals, EOW 10/6/02, was killed in the line of duty. Tragically, since then two more Warren County first responders made the ultimate sacrifice: Deputy Sheriff Lonnie Cole, EOW 10/2/03, and Chief Paul Fricke, EOW 8/27/10. Community leaders, first responders and civilians residing in Warren County felt moved to support the work of BackStoppers and came together to form Warren County BackStoppers.

Every February, the Warren County BackStoppers organizes a Dinner, Dance and Auction event that draws a great crowd and brings in a generous amount of support. This annual event features a premium silent auction, performances by the St. Louis County Pipes and Drums Troupe and a unique way of honoring Warren County’s three fallen heroes. During the event, oil paintings depicting each of the three fallen heroes are displayed as a poignant reminder of why guests, supporters and volunteers are there.

A lot of preparation and work goes into making this event such a success. Months ahead, the Warren County committee holds meetings, gathers donations and spreads the word. On the day of the event, the committee, along with 40 additional volunteers, works diligently to make the evening run smoothly. The dedication and hard work has paid off in a big way; the 2018 event raised $80,000, and the total raised over their eight-year history exceeds $500,000 for BackStoppers! This support is truly extraordinary.

BackStoppers Advisory Board Member Chief Jeff Backhaus of Marthasville Vol. Fire Department shares what BackStoppers means to Warren County, “We all realize someday it could be one of us or our family that needs to benefit from this organization and we know that they will be taken care of”. The amount of support that Warren County brings to our mission is very much appreciated. BackStoppers Executive Director Chief Ron Battelle shares, “We are extremely grateful for the incredible support and dedication to our fallen heroes that this group has displayed. Thank you, Warren County!”

We greatly appreciate the Warren County BackStoppers and the Outlying County Supporter Groups. The support of these friends of BackStoppers helps us to carry out our mission of serving families of fallen first responders.

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