ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – June 20, 2017 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation is excited to report that it has received a $50,000 cash donation from the National Board of Law Enforcement United (LEU). The gift was presented to the Spirit of Blue at LEU’s 8th Annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride arrival ceremony held this year at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC on May 12, 2017. Nearly 1,000 active duty and retired law enforcement officers, along with a number of surviving family members of officers who were lost in the line of duty, rode over 250 miles to honor the sacrifices that fallen officers have made in service to their communities and the families they leave behind.
“Law Enforcement United Is proud to support the Spirit of Blue for a second year in a row. We are pleased with the efforts they are making in supporting the grants for equipment and training to departments that would otherwise not receive such funds,” commented Wallace “Chad” Chadwick, Executive Director of Law Enforcement United, who also serves as a Sergeant with the Chesapeake (VA) Police Department. “The efforts that our combined charities are making in the law enforcement community are potentially saving lives with this invaluable equipment. Law Enforcement United will continue to support Spirit of Blue and its programs as we truly believe in this cause as it is in line with our shared interest.”
Law Enforcement United consists of chapters in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey along with riders who join from a host of other states across the country. Each rider raises $1,250 on their own to participate in the annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride, which covers the cost of their participation and generates the funds donated to select law enforcement causes. A subset of riders also participate in Project Active Armor, where riders wear ballistic vests along the entire route of the ride to demonstrate that with today’s body armor it is not only possible to bike 250 miles in their vests, but that there shouldn’t be any reason law enforcement officers can’t wear their armor while on duty. In addition to the gift made to Spirit of Blue, LEU also presented $100,000 to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) and $450,000 to the Concerns For Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) national organization. In total, LEU has raised over $5,000,000 since it was founded in 2009.
“We are still early in our relationship with LEU, but already they have exceeded our expectations,” commented Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue. “We will be able to do a lot with these funds through our Safety Grant Program, and each one of these dollars will be put to work protecting law enforcement officers across this country. We have already earmarked $15,000 of this gift toward our annual Tourniquet Project, which will grant 500 tourniquets to law enforcement officers across the country. That is something that we can all be proud of together.”
Since 2011, the Spirit of Blue Foundation has awarded 45 grants in 23 states valued at nearly $200,000. The grants have varied from patrol rifles, body armor, riot control gear, AED’s, K9’s, forensic software, flashlights, Police/Youth Dialogue training, night vision optics, LED flares, ballistic helmets and self-contained breathing apparatus. The Spirit of Blue Foundation deeply appreciates the generosity and support of the national LEU organization, its Board of Directors, their regional divisions and the riders who participate in the Road to Hope Memorial Ride each year.
About The Spirit of Blue Foundation
The Spirit of Blue Foundation, based in Rochester, NY, is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs. The Spirit of Blue Foundation develops and executes fundraising campaigns nationally with the support of partner non-profits, national retailers and safety equipment manufacturers. Fundraising proceeds are distributed in the form of Safety Equipment and Training Grants to law enforcement agencies across the country from local to federal levels. Since 2011 the Foundation has awarded 45 grants in 23 states valued at nearly $200,000.