Exciting Assist The Officer fundraiser set for May 6 at Under the Radar Brewery

Tom Kennedy

The Assist The Officer Foundation – an HPD institution since 1991 – will hold an exciting fundraising event at the Under the Radar brewery at 1506 Truxillo in Midtown on Saturday, May 6.

“Come join us for what is going to be an annual event,” Tom Hayes, HPOU 3rd vice president, said. “The purpose is to raise funds to further Assist The Officer Foundation’s endeavors to support injured officers in their time of need.”

The ATO Foundation has a rich history for providing support for officers and their families.

Under the Radar is “family- and dog-friendly and will be providing food trucks, games and a raffle as well as a “craft beer experience” for the adults in the crowd. Hours are 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Hayes particularly singled out the fundraising raffles and suggested that attendees would be treated to “all the beer they can purchase and consume.” The chair of this event is Renee Craven, a member of the ATO Foundation board.

Hayes stressed that the stated goal of the ATO Foundation has become more highly focused in recent years with the serious injuries and wounds in the line of duty suffered by HPD officers.

“The key factor here,” Hayes said, “is that we need strong support in order to pay for these needs for officers and their families. Usually the necessary response happens in an unexpected, unplanned situation. ATO needs these funds to be ready for any emergency adversely affecting a Houston police officer.”

The sergeant also touted the food trucks, commemorative pint glasses that will be for sale as well as special-issue ATO t-shirts. “Given the location at the edge of Midtown,” he said, “parking will be sporadic but there is amble parking in around this location. Some of it is free.”

Articles of incorporation established ATO as a non-profit organization that would provide benefits to officers seriously or catastrophically injured in the line of duty. When an officer is seriously injured ATO provides immediate funds, which are generated from events like this one.

When an officer was seriously injured, ATO provided $1,000 cash and assisted in other fundraising activities. By the mid-1990s, the organization successfully sought to change state legislation so that permanently disabled officers and their families receive the same state-sponsored benefits as those killed in the line of duty.

Besides financial help for their medical needs, affected officers also are entitled to college tuition at a state college or university for each of their children.

Mike Mitchell, executive director of First Responders Benefit Trust, was one of the founding members of the ATO Foundation and serves as a board member. Hayes currently serves as ATO Foundation chair as well as chairman of the First Responders Benefit Trust.  Besides Hayes and Mitchell, other members of the ATO Foundation Board are:

Vice-Chair- Michael LaReau
9-year veteran as Police Officer of the Houston Police Department.

Treasurer- Drew Doebbler
Spirit of Texas Bank, Office President – Clear Lake.

Secretary- Robert Sandoval
20-year veteran as Sergeant of the Houston Police Department.

Board Member- Renee Cravens
HR Manager with Vallen Distribution, Inc.

Board Member- Fulton Broemer
Principal in the law firm of Broemer & Associates

Board Member- William Booth

32-year veteran as Sergeant of the Houston Police Department.  He also serves as a Director of the Houston Police Officers’ Union and Secretary of the First Responders Benefit Trust.

Board Member- Terry Seagler

 18-year veteran as Sergeant of the Houston Police Department. He also serves as a Director of the Houston Police Officers Union.

Board Member- Gabriela Joyce
Executive Assistant at Texas Police Trust.

Board Member- Lisa Marino
Executive Assistant at HPOU.  28+ years in Marketing, Promotions and Computer Graphics.

Board Member (HPOU Rep)- Doug Griffith
26-year veteran as Police Officer of the Houston Police Department.  He also serves as Vice President of the Houston Police Officers’ Union.

Board Member (TAFR Rep)- Tim Butler
23-year veteran as a Senior Police Officer of the Houston Police Department.  He also serves as Treasurer of the Houston Police Officers’ Union.

Board Member (HPOU Rep)- Luis Menendez-Sierra
10-year veteran of the Houston Police Department.  He also serves as a Board Member of the Houston Police Officers’ Union.

Board Member (HPD Rep)- Matt Williams
15-year veteran as Sergeant of the Houston Police Department.