Eight years ago, Rollin’for BackStoppers Executive Director, Lt. Cheryl E. Orange with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, saw a need in the first responder community. She had a vision of gathering minority communities, specifically African American, and spreading awareness of the BackStoppers’ mission. Lt. Orange’s vision became a reality, and Rollin’ for BackStoppers was created.
At the heart of Rollin’ for BackStoppers, is education and awareness. “Our mission is to financially support the BackStoppers and educate all communities on the need to support the families of first responders who have been killed in the line of duty”, says Lt. Orange. As for the Rollin’ for BackStoppers name, “The name of the organization was inspired by our first responders’ service to their communities. First responders serve their community on wheels giving meaning to the name, Rollin’ for BackStoppers.”
Support for Rollin’ for BackStoppers is generated by multiple fundraising events held in September. During Rollin’ for BackStoppers’ early days, the main fundraiser was the all-adult Skate Party that drew 500 participants annually. This was only the beginning. In 2012, the Roll of Remembrance, ‘A Salute to the Fallen’ motorcycle ride was formed. Additionally, the Rollin’ on the River Car and Bike Show on the St. Louis Riverfront and, new this year, the Le Tour De Ride cyclist ride for BackStoppers, have been added to the lineup of Rollin’ for BackStoppers events. All these events take place on the fourth weekend in September, bringing in participants from all over the St. Louis region. Lt. Orange owes the success of Rollin’ for BackStoppers to the events’ loyal participants. “Rollin’ for BackStoppers is a grass-roots effort. Annually, our donation to BackStoppers is generated by community contributions from the participants. Currently, the event participants are the organization’s greatest supporters.”
The passion and drive that Lt. Orange has for the first responder community has also been passed to her son, Private Kentral Williams of the St. Louis Fire Department who is the Committee Director of Rollin’ for BackStoppers. Other first responders dedicate their time by serving on the Rollin’ for BackStoppers Board, including Capt. Guy Jennings, Private Aeron Clay, Sgt. Celestine Humphrey and Roy Whitfield.
Beaming with pride, Lt. Orange shares how appreciative she is, “What continues to be my proudest moment is the community’s continuous support of Rollin’ for BackStoppers. We have been able to make a financial contribution to the BackStoppers cause for the last eight years, helping to facilitate its mission.”
Rollin’ for BackStoppers has generated $58,000 during their eight year history! BackStoppers Executive Director Chief Ron Battelle extends his appreciation, “On behalf of the families we serve, I would like to thank Lt. Cheryl Orange, and everyone involved in making Rollin’ for BackStoppers a success. We appreciate the time and hard work that goes into the fundraisers every September. The support from Rollin’ for BackStoppers goes a long way to assist our families. Thank you!”
“The BackStoppers mission is especially important to me. As a first responder, I have no concern about my family’s financial stability if I were to make the ultimate sacrifice. My son is now a first responder and is reassured that his family is covered, as well, if he were to fall in the line of duty.” – Lt. Cheryl Orange, Rollin’ for BackStoppers Executive Director
To learn more about upcoming Rollin’ for BackStoppers events, visit RollinForBackStoppers.org