Warren County

Warren County Backstoppers collects $140K at this year's dinner

By Cindy Gladden, Record Correspondent
Posted 2/23/24

The Warren County MO Backstoppers organization raises money for families of first responders and emergency workers.

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Warren County

Warren County Backstoppers collects $140K at this year's dinner


Warren County BackStoppers organization had its twelfth annual dinner dance fundraiser Feb. 17 with hopes of beating all previous records and creeping closer to a total of million dollars raised.

Four hundred total tickets were available for the event. Only three stood open. The event was at St. Ignatius Community Center in Concord Hill.

“We’re here to raise money. A lot of money,” said Warren County Backstoppers chairman Sheriff Kevin Harrison. “Bid often, bid heavy.”

The BackStoppers committee is comprised of Harrison, Amy Leach, Mike Owenby, Michelle Heiliger, Jamie Frankenberg, Lulu Hasenjaeger and Shelly Alcorn. Harrison thanked previous members Jeff Backhaus and Frank Stuermann for their many years of volunteer service.

Harrison said there were donations and sponsorships totaling more than $40,000. In 12 years, the local BackStoppers have raised $820,750.

“While Warren County Backstoppers are still collecting and finalizing outstanding bills, we collected approximately $140,000 Saturday evening at our fundraising event,” said Frankenberg. “We want to send a heartfelt thank you to the community for their continued support.”

The BackStoppers was organized in 1959 and provides ongoing assistance to spouses and children of first responders who have died or been seriously injured while on duty. Honored and remembered at the local BackStoppers are Truesdale Officer Vernon Seals, Warren County Deputy Lonny Cole and Hawk Point Police Chief Paul Fricke.

“We couldn’t do what we do without you,” said BackStoppers Executive Director Retired Chief Ron Battell. “Our obligation is a big one. We are serving 90 families, including 75 kids, on a budget of $2.5 million per year.”

BackStoppers representative John Dolan said every dollar counts.

“Within 24 hours we meet with the surviving spouse,” he said. “We give them $10,000 for whatever they need. In the next two weeks, out financial team meets with the family and from then on, they are debt free.”

For example, Dolan said they are still serving the needs of a widow in her 90s. 

The education fund helps surviving children complete their schooling, including private school funding. BackStoppers also offers a catastrophic injury fund, which helps people like Hermann Officer Adam Sullentrup, who will have “a lifetime of recovery.”

The Marthasville Fire Protection District Honor Guard and the Greater St. Louis Firefighters Highland Guard, opened the event with a solemn tribute.

Serving as auctioneer was engineer, surveyor, and past state representative Bart Korman. Bidding was strong and the commitment to BackStoppers was easy to see as hands rose to pay thousands of dollars for a good cause.

Warren County BackStoppers has its event each February. See their Facebook page for more information.

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