Back the Blue

JIMMY SAILORS

Some of the prizes donated by businesses and individuals during last year’s Back the Blue event.

Wiregrass law enforcement, retired law enforcement, and their family members are invited to attend this year’s Back the Blue event sponsored by HomeTown Lenders. This event is scheduled for May 15 at 6 p.m. in the Dothan Civic Center.

This event is held annually during the National Police Memorial Week.

“This event was created as a way to honor and show our dedicated members of law enforcement and their family members just how much their dedication and services are appreciated,” said Tim Watson, owner of HomeTown Lenders.

The event grows each year, Watson said.

“The first year we had roughly 80 participants; the second year we had roughly 200 participants; and the third year, we had roughly 500 participants. This year we are anticipating between 600 and 700 participants,” Watson said.

Back the Blue is all about appreciation and support, he added.

“This event truly allows the community a chance to come together and back the blue,” Watson said.

HomeTown Lenders encourages local businesses in the Wiregrass area as well as any individuals who wish to make monetary donations or donate items that can be given away to law enforcement members in attendance.

“Our goal is to make sure each officer gets a gift as a token of the community’s support for that officer putting their life on the line every day,” Watson said. “It is not very often officers can sit down and talk about different topics and just enjoy a night of fun and relaxation. But, that is what this night is all about -- giving back.”

All monetary donations received for Back the Blue will go toward purchasing gifts such as electronics, grills, lawn equipment, patio supplies, gift baskets, and gift cards.

“In the past we have received tremendous support for this event,” Watson said. “It really amazes me every year how everyone pulls together to truly support or law enforcement officers.”

For those attending the event, dinner and dessert will be served and children’s activities will be provided. This year, Watson is doing something a little different.

“For those who donate an item for a gift will also be invited to the dinner to award that gift to the officer who is chosen,” Watson said. “I believe by both the giver and the receiver meeting, this will make the gift even more special for that officer. We are very fortunate to have dedicated law enforcement officers in the Wiregrass area and I look forward to honoring them all during our Back the Blue event.”

Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation or a gift donation may do so by visiting 112 W. Troy Street in Dothan, or call Hometown Lenders at 334-794-2661. Hometown Lenders will also schedule pickups for donations.

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Follow Michele Forehand on Twitter @micheleforehan1

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