Realizing that Lorain County lacked a basic foundation for officers and their families in need, an Avon policeman founded one, and will continue funding it through a second major fundraiser Aug. 18.
officer Chris Barton started the non-profit Lorain County Blue Foundation (LOCO Blue) in January of 2012, inspired in part by fellow officer Pete Soto, who had been seriously injured in an accident while on duty in 2010.
“Cleveland has the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society and Columbus has Get Behind The Badge, but Lorain County didn’t have a foundation,” Barton said.
In February, the foundation held the in honor of Soto. Eight police departments competed for the best chili, raising more than $10,000.
He began formulating the idea for the foundation in October of 2011 and worked with the Fraternal Order of Police to make the non-profit a reality.
Barton, a former Cleveland Heights officer, said he has seen his fair share of tragedies involving officers on the job and is hoping the foundation can make an impact in Lorain County.
He is now readying a second major fundraiser for the foundation, a pig roast on Aug. 18 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Avon and is hoping to get the word out, and tickets sold.
“I’m trying to network and get contacts,” Barton said.
Tickets to the pig roast are $25 per person and include dinner, pop, dessert, live entertainment and a 50/50 raffle. The event runs from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tickets, which are limited, are available through the Avon Police Department or by contacting Barton at 440-934-1214 or 216-407-6990 (or at Cbarton@avonpd.com) or Andy Kehl at Akehl@avonpd.com 440-934-1214 or 216-389-3167.