On November 21, 2021, Pasco Backs the Blue presented $25,000 in donations to the Pasco County Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial and Benefit Foundation, as well as Investigation Station. These local, grass-roots, volunteer-run nonprofit organizations were the receiving charities of the 2021 Red, White, and Back the Blue Rally.
On October 16, hundreds of people gathered at Gill Dawg’s Event Center to support Pasco County’s local law enforcement organizations. The day included the presentation of colors by the River Ridge High School Junior ROTC and the National Anthem sung by Julia Badala. The activities included a vendor fair and performances by the River Ridge High School Knights of Jazz Band, Patrick Gibson, The Bearded Brothers, and Never Stop Believin’ – Journey Tribute. There was also an on-site canned food drive to support our neighbors who depend on the Volunteer Way, which collected 75 pounds of food. The sale of shirts, hats, raffles, and a 50/50 all went to raise funds for the Pasco County Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial and Benefit Foundation, as well as Investigation Station.
Bob George, event co-founder, said, “When Lisa and I started Oasco Backs the Blue, we had no idea that the response from the community would be so great. In just two years, we have raised over $35000 to support our police and our kids here in Pasco County.”
The Pasco County Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial and Benefit Foundation has been working to build a memorial for Pasco County. It is the last county in Florida to have a dedicated space to recognize our law enforcement officers that are hurt or killed in the line of duty. Once the memorial has been completed, funds will help such officers and their families with financial burdens.
Investigation Station creates hands-on exhibits for children and their caregivers to experience for free, on their own time in Pasco County. They have made three public exhibits to date and are working on their fourth. The exhibits include a one-mile scaled model of the solar system called “From the Sun to Pluto” in Starkey Wilderness Park, a traveling STEM exhibit called “Kidstruction” in the Pasco County Library System, and the “Water Cycle Splash Pad” at the Veterans Memorial Park. A geology exhibit is in the works for the River Walk Park in the City of New Port Richey. A history of flags display is in the initial stages of creation to instill respect and patriotism.
Event co-founder Lisa Campos said, “We were so happy to show our support for all of Pasco’s law enforcement agencies at this year’s rally. We had note cards and a collection box at our table. Visitors to our table wrote dozens of thank you notes to the law enforcement officers. It was an amazing day, and we are so grateful to the Pasco County community for all their support.”
To learn more about the Pasco County Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial and Benefit Foundation and Investigation Station, email Bob George (Bgeorge4898@gmail.com) with Pasco Backs the Blue or Lisa Campos with Pasco Backs the Blue and Investigation Station (PascosInvestigationStation@gmail.com).