For over a decade a strong group of volunteers have dedicated their time and energy raising awareness and support. The Franklin County BackStoppers supporter group is integral to the growth of our cause, and we are honored to share with you their efforts.
With a population of around 100,000, Franklin County is a special group of BackStoppers supporters who gather all available resources to create a staggering amount of support for our mission. For over a decade the Franklin County BackStoppers has met a need in reaching the people of Franklin County about our mission of serving families of fallen heroes.
In Franklin County BackStoppers’ history, they have contributed over $430,000 to BackStoppers. This incredible number is reached through their Dinner Auction
event held each October. This event brings in people from all over the county for an evening of fellowship, a premium silent and oral auction and a chance for people to hear about the work of BackStoppers. Family speakers share how BackStoppers has impacted their lives. Photos of Franklin County’s fallen first responders Firefighter Dwayne Von Behren of the New Haven Fire Department, EOW 7/5/87, and Chief Kevin Dziejma of the Village of Miramiguoa, EOW 5/18/15, are displayed inside the hall.
The success of the Dinner Auction is a result of the group’s hard work. Franklin County BackStoppers representative, Pat Eckelkamp explains, “We start planning the event in April and meet at least once each month. We have volunteers gathering auction items and sponsorships from our first meeting until the day of the event. The volunteers also spend hours collecting donations and promoting what BackStoppers does for first responder families. Several people work behind the scenes organizing everything and making sure the event runs smoothly.”
The 2019 Dinner Auction raised a record-breaking $90,000. It is evident that awareness of the BackStoppers cause has shown tremendous growth in Franklin County. Groups like Franklin County ensure awareness is shared to all corners, which is especially important in the outlying counties of our coverage area.
Pat touches on what our mission means to him, “I have been in the fire service for almost 25 years and I am a third generation in the service. Seeing the families of fallen first responders is heart wrenching, and the way BackStoppers is always there for the families is something I want to support forever.”
The heart of Franklin County supporters cannot be matched. We are always grateful for their fervent support, and we are excited for the next Dinner Auction on March 27, 2021.
“The dedication shown by the people of Franklin County each year is to be admired. These friends of BackStoppers hold a special place in our organization, and BackStoppers would not be the same without them. My deepest thanks to the Franklin County BackStoppers, your support makes a tremendous impact.”
-Chief Ron Battelle, Executive Director