BRIGANTINE — Last month, the Brigantine Police Benevolent Association hosted its annual bicycle poker run to assist the national coalition Police Unity Tour for families of fallen officers in the spring.
Later this month — 6-8 p.m. Oct. 28 to be precise — the PBA's annual Trunk or Treat will help local children have a safe and fun Halloween outside the Community Center.
During No Shave November, members of the PBA will trade in their razors for pledge support to the American Cancer Society. In December, Shop With a Cop will give underprivileged families a better holiday season. Year-round, the BPA hosts events such as Chill With a Cop and National Night Out to bolster relations between the public and law enforcement, sponsors youth sports teams and works with the True Spirit Coalition to aid the less fortunate.
To make all this feasible, a PBA fund is established through union dues, but sometimes it is not enough, according to Patrolman and PBA President Mike Finan.
To take up the financial slack, the PBA relies on fundraisers such as the inaugural Benefit for the Blue 6-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at St. George's Pub, 4282 Harbor Beach Blvd. in the Brigantine Towne Center. A $20 ticket gets guests a food buffet, basket auction, 50/50 raffle and live music by country singer-songwriter-guitarist Kevin Dale.
“This is the first year for it, and it ultimately came about because Jimmy Fowler of St. George's approached us and said he and country music singer Kevin Dale wanted to do something for the local Police Department,” Finan said. “They presented it to us, and we thought it was a great idea. For us it was a no-brainer. It will help benefit all of our charitable efforts. All the things we put on for the city come from our fund, and we try to replenish that through events such as this.”
Dale's debut at St. George's was in February, and he was incorporated into a regular live-music series at the pub that ran weekends throughout the summer.
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“Kevin's very big on supporting our military troops and our first responders, so we decided to put together a show in October, when the busy season's over but there's still plenty of people in town enjoying the nice fall weather,” said Fowler, St. George's owner. “I told (the PBA) I'll provide the band and the buffet spread if you buy the beer.”
Shirley Fowler, Jim's wife, is putting together a raffle basket on behalf of St. George's, and other local businesses and civic organizations will also be contributing baskets. Dale will have specially made Thin Blue Line T-shirts available for purchase to help the cause.
“These guys work hard all year, particularly during the summer, so I thought it would be nice to do something right for the guys in blue,” Jim Fowler said. “It's a scary world out there, and these are the guys who help keep you safe and come to your rescue when you need them.”
For more, go to facebook.com/brigantinepba or call St. George's Pub at 609-266-1001.