The first-ever Back the Blue Assist the Officer fundraiser, held on the last Sunday in April, raised more than $10,000, setting a remarkable fundraising pace for the organization that helps officers and their families in need.
HPOU 1st Vice President Doug Griffith praised the organization of the event, coordinated by his long-time friend Darrell Kuykendall, and announced that it won’t be the last event of its kind.
Held at Stampede Houston, located at 11925 Eastex Freeway, Back the Blue featured live entertainment, great food and live and silent auctions. Houston radio personalities were featured along with a wide array of live entertainers who furnished music for dancing. There was also a classic car show and plenty of entertainment for the children.
Live entertainers included David Joseph, Patrick Murphy, Shayne Still, Bryan Black, Kevin Eagan, Jenna Katherine, Sophie Lee, Cody Rhodes, Michael Summers, Sarah White and Bart Alan Woytek.
The event had sponsors who gladly supported ATO. They included the Eagle 106.9, Country Legends 97.1, 93Q the New Country and 05 Entertainment Agency.
The genesis of the event was the lifelong friendship between Griffith and Darrell Kuykendall, who said, “I’m looking forward to hopefully doing many more events like this in the future.”
Kuykendall expressed thanks to an elaborate list of local celebrities and organizations that helped with every detail of the show.
He issued a special thanks “to all of the Houston police officers from the Honor Guard, SWAT, the Marine Unit and the the helicopter pilots who came out and set up all the cool stuff that the Houston Police Department uses on a daily basis that the general public doesn’t always get to see. The tools of the trade.
“Thank you to each and every one of you for your service to our great city and thank you for being a part of the Back the Blue event.”
Kuykendall singled out the work of HPOU’s Lisa Marino and ATO’s Tom Hayes and Gabriela Gregory.