The Suffolk Law Enforcement Ball planning committee was, from left, Nick Shockley, Rob Fahrman, Jennifer Weatherly, Tommy Cain, Jesse Epperson and Paul Helvestine.
The Suffolk Law Enforcement Ball planning committee was, from left, Nick Shockley, Rob Fahrman, Jennifer Weatherly, Tommy Cain, Jesse Epperson and Paul Helvestine.

Archived Story

Police ball benefits Project Lifesaver

Published 11:29pm Monday, February 18, 2013

More than $2,000 in proceeds from Friday’s fourth Suffolk Law Enforcement Ball will be given to the Suffolk chapter of Project Lifesaver.

The annual event, held this year at the Hilton Garden Inn in Harbour View, saw about 130 people in attendance. Most were members of the Suffolk Police Department, Suffolk Sheriff’s Office, Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and their spouses or dates, but several civilian supporters also were in attendance.

“The ball is a time for fellow law enforcement officers, their spouses and their civilian counterparts to fellowship with one another,” Jesse Epperson, who is a member of the organizing committee, wrote in an email. “This event is also a time to remember and honor local fallen law enforcement officers, those officers who have survived grueling events in service to our community, and also to honor the history of Suffolk law enforcement while striving for its future.”

Project Lifesaver, which benefited from the proceeds of raffles and a silent auction at the ball, is a program that allows quick tracking of people who wander. Those prone to wandering, such as adults with dementia and children with autism or other conditions, can get fitted with transponders worn on the wrist that emit a signal detectable by specialized equipment kept at all Suffolk fire stations. Most searches for Project Lifesaver clients last around 30 minutes.

The program is provided free of charge to clients, though those who are able are asked to pay $5 a month for new batteries for the transponders. But the program has capital costs — transponders cost $300 and each set of tracking equipment costs $1,000 to $1,300.

In addition to the raffles and silent auction, the Law Enforcement Ball included a memorial to fallen officers, a video of memories from the year and a tribute to the policeman by Paul Harvey, who has found notoriety anew posthumously after his “God Made a Farmer” monologue was used in a Super Bowl commercial for Dodge.

In November, a donation of $1,000 was made to the Genieve Shelter on behalf of the ball by city Treasurer Ron Williams and the Treasurer’s United Way Golf Tournament.

“The event could not have been possible without the support of Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett,” Epperson wrote in the email.

The ball was presented by William and Sarah Blair of Blair Brothers Construction Inc. and the Suffolk Police Officers Association. It was organized and hosted by Suffolk Law Enforcement Charity Events Inc. It was also sponsored by Mike Duman Auto Sales, State Farm Insurance Agents B.J. Willie and Ken DeLoach, Davis Lakes and Campground, Morbid Amusements, Kraft Foods, The Addison Group and Embroidery Etc.

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