The decade and The BackStoppers’ 60th Anniversary are nearing an end. Recognizing sixty years of serving families of fallen heroes has been an honor. In 1959, our initial contribution to a family was $1,000 and today we present $10,000 immediately following the loss of their loved one. Fervent support is crucial to the wellness of our mission. Our growth from 1959 to 2019 has been possible because of the relentless dedication of the community.
As I write this in reflection of the past year, the losses have been far too great. Five heroes in our coverage area have fallen in the line of duty this year. We have added the families of five fallen heroes this year. Capt. Jake Ringering, EOW 3/5/19, Firefighter Paramedic Chris Moore, EOW 6/8/19, Officer Michael Langsdorf, EOW 6/23/19, Trooper Nick Hopkins, EOW 8/23/19, and Officer James “Mitch” Ellis, Jr., EOW 10/11/19 made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and altogether left behind 15 dependent children. These heroes will never be forgotten, and it is an honor to preserve their memories by serving their families.
The end of the year can be a difficult time for many with the upcoming holidays that are shared with loved ones. I would like to encourage our supporters to remember the families this holiday season, and to consider giving to our mission. Your gift helps us provide life-changing assistance to the survivors of those who gave all for our safety and protection. We understand the void that the families we serve face during this time, and while we cannot bring back their loved ones, we wish to bring hope for their future.
Thank you to all those that supported our mission in 2019 by donating, becoming a member, attending or organizing a fundraiser. Your commitment to our families is recognized and deeply appreciated. May the holiday season and new year bring peace to our supporters, first responders and the families we serve.