LAS VEGAS, NV– I know that we at Law Enforcement Today aren’t the only ones disappointed in this years’ Police Week being canceled. We get why it happened, but it still really sucks.
Fortunately, there is an event coming in October that, while it won’t do justice to paying tribute to officers who have died in the line of duty during 2019, will hopefully fill the social void that many will feel over not getting to see their extended LE family in May.
It’s called the Brothers in Blue Bash benefitting The Wounded Blue, taking place October 17 from 7pm-11pm at the UNLV Cox Pavilion. It will be the largest law enforcement event in the US in 2020, with seating for 1,000.
I spoke to the event planner, George Wooden of BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, which is the number one fundraising company in North America. George is a retired Maryland State Trooper, so he knows exactly what cops are looking for when attending an event.
He told me more about the Brothers in Blue Bash.
The event boasts an all-you-can-eat southern BBQ buffet, along with drink tickets, music, a live auction and a silent auction, and surprises throughout the evening.
All for $90 per ticket.
That’s unheard of for Las Vegas pricing: Four hours of entertainment and food for $90. Or, if you purchase a table and split it with friends and coworkers, it’s $85 per ticket. It was important to George and The Wounded Blue to keep the price affordable so that people could come from all over the nation.
And coming from all over, they are: So far tickets have been purchased from coast to coast, from Texas in the south, all the way up to Alaska, and even as far as Australia and Ireland.
Both auctions will have items like signed sports memorabilia, domestic and international trips, music memorabilia, and what George described as “shocking surprises.”
Of course, many of the items will be specifically related to law enforcement.
Law Dog Coffee will be there handing out coffee, and Donut Boy will also be there with donuts. Coffee and donuts- what more could a cop ask for?
George’s excitement over this event and the amount of amazing things taking place there was audible. He said the best way to describe it is this:
“It’s legitimately a controlled three-ring circus!”
COVID-19 has slowed down the hotel planning for the time being, but they’re working on getting a host hotel. When that happens, the event page will be updated and the special group rate will be announced.
Founder and CEO of The Wounded Blue Randy Sutton told me:
“The Blue Bash will be the largest celebration of Law Enforcement Unity and Pride in America.”
The major sponsors for the event are LawDog Coffee and Blue Light LLC. To become a sponsor, go to the Brothers in Blue Bash Facebook page.
George recommended purchasing a whole table and splitting it with friends so seating is guaranteed. Tickets purchased individually will be seated as available.
As stated previously, the event is in October. But it’s going to be so huge, and so many tickets have already been purchased, that it’s strongly encouraged you don’t wait to get your tickets! You can also go to the Brothers in Blue Bash Facebook page for tickets.
The money raised from this awesome event will go directly to being able to assist officers in need through The Wounded Blue.
The Wounded Blue, as stated on it’s website, is:
“The national assistance and support organization for injured and disabled law enforcement officers. It provides resources for officers that have experienced physical and emotional injuries on duty. Our mission is to improve the lives of injured and disabled officers through support programs that build unity, resiliency and wellness within the law enforcement community.”
The motto for the group is “Never Forgotten, Never Alone.”
The group offers peer support advocacy and community outreach. They have 20 trained peer support advocates (of which, I am one).
Along with peer support, they are working to further their organization to be able to offer emergency financial assistance for injured law enforcement officers in the future. Additionally, they’re working with the American Bar Association to be able to provide legal assistance within the next few months, to help officers with things like obtaining workers compensation and medical benefits, and public advocacy in strengthening laws protecting injured / disabled LEOs.
Any talk with an advocate is confidential, period. That’s very important to the mission of the group in order to gain and keep trust of people reaching out for help. If The Wounded Blue can’t help you, they will find someone who can.
From the website:
“Getting injured in the line of duty is difficult enough just dealing with the pain of the injury. When you add financial stress, family issues, dealing with the unending bureaucracy of insurance and workers comp, it can be overwhelming. Having someone to talk to that’s ‘been there’ is more than comforting, it’s essential to getting through the ordeal.
The Wounded Blue has a group of professionally trained volunteers that have experienced similar traumas and can provide insight, encouragement, advice or sometimes just be a sounding board, not just for the officers who have been injured but also for their families.”
Additionally, The Wounded Blue’s website says:
“Accepting that one is struggling with PSTD is the first step for many officers. Seeking an outlet for support is second.
The Wounded Blue provides a reliable foundation for first line support. A simple phone call to a stranger with similar experiences can hugely impact the life of an officer. There is immediate trust, validation, and confidentiality, which breaks down barriers when a person is in a vulnerable state.
The peer advocates understand that every law enforcement officer injured, physically or emotionally, in the line of duty has unique needs. This team stands ready to answer the calls, listen to the officer’s story, and assist or access other resources for that individual, as needed.
Many officers who are seriously injured or disabled in the line of duty experience feelings of abandonment and isolation. The Wounded Blue Peer Advocate Support Team is always a reminder that they are ‘Never Forgotten, Never Alone.’”
If you or someone you know may need assistance with mental health, please don’t hesitate to visit https://thewoundedblue.org/.
We hope to see you at the Brothers in Blue Bash!
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