ABILENE, TX. (KTAB/KRBC)- The Abilene Police Foundation held its 4th annual Back the Blue Sporting Clay Classic. This event helps members of the Abilene Police Department and their families deal with unexpected financial burdens.
“We want to raise money to meet the needs of Abilene police officers,” said Abilene resident Steve Ellinger.
Through the Abilene Police Foundation, officers and other employees at the Abilene Police Department can apply for grants to help deal with emergency situations.
“The clay shoot’s been going on for four years. It’s super important because our organization serves those that serve, and it helps officers if they may experience a catastrophic event or maybe their family, some sort of unseen event and we raise money to help in that situation,” said Co-Chair of the Back the Blue Sporting Clay Shoot, Phil Sage.
Since 2017, this event has raised over $200,000 and the money has been used in a variety of ways.
“We’ve helped pay for two funerals, paid off a mortgage of an officer who died on duty, we paid his wife’s mortgage off. We’ve had multiple medical catastrophes that we’ve been able to pitch in,” said Co-Chair of the Back the Blue Sporting Clay Shoot, Gary Bone.
Those in attendance had the opportunity to enjoy food, take part in raffles to win prizes, and of course participate in one of the two clay-shooting rounds to show off their ability as a marksman.
“The sporting clay event has 17 stations, there’s approximately 126 shooters, and they’re comprised of teams that go around to each station and shoot at clays that come in multiple directions,” said Sage.
Some of the competitors said this event means more to them than the rest, because of the cause it supports.
“We have a lot of good events out here, and I’ve been doing this and competing for many, many, years, but this one’s special to me just because it is the police officers in Abilene, Texas. A tough time right now for them and they need our help just as much as we need theirs,” said Ellinger.
You can find information on how you can get involved with the Abilene Police Foundation here.