This year’s spectacular features bigger, shadier facility with larger game truck, unlimited snow cones, hot food

Tom Kennedy

HPOU’s ever-popular 4th Annual Family Picnic is on pace to top last year’s fun with a bigger game truck for the youngsters, as well as bounce houses, snow cones and an exciting raffle in which the winner will receive a brand new PlayStation 4.

Remember that new location: the Houston Farm and Ranch Club, 1 Abercrombie St., in West Houston, near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Highway 6.

The fun extends from the younger folks to the adults, who should appreciate more shade than ever before and an over-abundance of tables and chairs for comfort.

Picnic Committee Chairman Colton Peverill even pointed out that “tables and chairs will be provided but you can bring your own if you like. Also, this year’s event is later than before so we hopefully will have cooler weather.”

This year’s highlights will be unlimited snow cones, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried food and a raffle for the kids. “You don’t have to be present to win,” Peverill was careful to point out.

Peverill promised plenty of raffle giveaways, including sports memorabilia provided by Alan Helfman of River Oaks Chrysler Jeep – a dedicated HPOU supporter.

This great family extravaganza starts at 2 p.m. and lasts until 10 p.m. Free shuttle service will be available – as always – at the Union parking lot starting at 1:30 p.m.

There will be plenty of the usual entertainment for both adults and the kids.

“Last year we ended up with a ton of prizes,” Peverill said. “This year promises to have even more. All raffle tickets are free. All you have to do is pick them up at the gate.”

Of course there also will be an adults-only raffle under these same conditions. Prizes will include not only sports memorabilia but also other exciting items donated by Houston area businesses in support of HPD and the Union.

Peverill said this year also will feature various vendors offering a wide array of products and services. Among them will be C and G and Mickey Keyes, a mortgage lender who has helped numerous Houston police officers.

Now is the time to pick up enough free admission tickets for the entire family. Tickets are available at the Union Building at 1600 State Street or by calling or emailing HPOU executive assistant Lisa Marino at 832-200-3432 and

Peverill stressed that the main purpose of handing out admission tickets was to “get an accurate head count” to make sure there will be enough food and drink for all those who attend.

“In reality,” he said, “we will be handing free tickets out at the door the day of the event. No officer and his or her family members will be turned away.”

A disc jockey will be present for musical entertainment early in the afternoon with the FIVE-0 Band on tab to crank up the dancing numbers for the adults later in the day. The band is led by Officer Tim Wyers and also will feature members of Checkered Past, a featured hit at the HPOU’s previous family picnics.

“This event always draws hundreds of kids and this year we hope to set a new attendance record. We know it’s later in the fall and it might be a little cooler. But that might not be so bad.”

Besides Peverill, the following board members have taken part in the planning of the event, always recognized as the Union’s greatest family event of the year. Those board members are Tom Hayes, Joe Gamaldi, Luis Menendez-Sierra, Robert Sandoval, Bill Booth, David Riggs, Tim Butler and Douglas Griffith.            Mike Mitchell of Texas Police Trust and Assist The Officer Foundation also served on the planning committee