JFlo fundraiser goes down as a $144,000 success story!

Tom Kennedy

LEAVE IT TO ASSIST THE OFFICER AND THE dedicated officers and friends of HPD to pitch in and help their fellow officers when a time of greatest need arises. Such an occasion emerged when Senior Police Officer Jerry Flores suffered an unusual golf cart accident in April. Flores, who is among the HPD officers who work for Major League Baseball in securing Minute Maid Park, has been between hospital stays and rehab. His medical expenses are mounting.

As we learned in August, the support from helpful hands also mounted to unbelievable levels. The Aug. 23 fundraiser at Minute Maid – co-sponsored by the Astros Foundation, Assist the Officer and the Thin Blue Line – reached record proportions. At deadline the funding level had reached $144,000 and was continuing to grow.

As is so often the case, this success story would not have been possible without Flores’ close friends inside and outside of HPD. The loud and high bidding at the auction – led by indomitable auctioneer and HPOU benefactor Alan Helfman – testified to the love for “JFlo,” as if the special edition T-shirts weren’t enough to demonstrate that love.

The number of participants, donors, bidders and contributors who once again dug deep into their pockets to provide help would be too endless to record here. The Badge & Gun does have to recognize the six people who were the prime movers on the special committee: Officers Stephanie Reyes, Todd Young, Troy Hollier and Steve Garcia alongside Alfredo Perez of the U. S. Marshal’s Office and longtime JFlo friend Jeff McShan. These folks worked closely with Assist the Officer as well as members of the Thin Blue Line to make the fundraiser a huge success.

The Astros also got involved, as evidenced by the unique venue in the shadows of Minute Maid. Flores and Reyes work an extra job providing security for the Astros and the players’ families. Reid Ryan, team president for business affairs, and Astros Foundation executive director Twila Carter also deserve credit for their dedication and support.

Hats off to everyone and Godspeed to JFlo, whose baby steps toward recovery have turned into giant steps in recent days. Jerry actually stands about 5-foot-6 but the specially made cutout of him used at the auction stood more than six feet tall. In our minds JFlo stands much taller than that. Keep him in your prayers!