HOW YOU CAN HELP: Tomorrow’s 9th annual Officer Down Motorcycle & Classic/Antique Car run has taken on added meaning: The riders are raising money for, among others, the family of Corrections Officer David Bailey, 33, who has terminal cancer.
PBA Local 105 obtained a medical retirement for the father of one, which his wife, Latoya, said is expected to begin July 1.
Bailey was placed into hospice last month and has been home.
He’s holding up well considering the circumstances, his wife told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
But it can be extremely depressing for him at times , she said.
WHAT: Officer Down 9th Annual Motorcycle Run
WHEN: June 16 (SATURDAY)
REGISTRATION: 10:00 a.m. – noon
STARTS: Mercer County AirportWest Trenton
ENDS: Prospectors Saloon, Mt. Laurel
TICKETS: $20/rider, $10/passenger, after-party only: $20 (NOTE: The first 100 bikers to pre-register will get a free gift from Officer Down Inc.)
“Since this is Officer Down’s 10th Anniversary we are trying to get as many marked patrol units and wheels officers as possible,” writes Officer Down Chairman Len Werner, a Mount Laurel police officer.
“Please let me know if your department or a department in your area has motorcycles — and even better, a contact person. Additionally, our hope is to have all of our past recipient towns represented in the run. Let’s make this ride for our heroes huge!”
Mercer County Sheriff’s Officer Sean C. Lavin launched Officer Down in the summer of 2002 in response to the illness and ultimate death of one of his colleagues, Detective Kevin McManimon.
It was tragically sudden: McManimon was diagnosed, treated and died within a month, leaving behind a wife and two children who obviously weren’t prepared emotionally or financially.
Before he died, McManimon asked then-PBA 187 President Mike Vasil to make sure his family was ‘taken care of.’ So he, Lavin and fellow sheriff’s Officer Christina Kalm quickly pulled together ‘SummerStock’ in August 2001, raising $10,000 for the McManimon family.
This has “helped significantly ease the financial burden the McManimon family faced,” according to officerdown.org.
It took off from there. The officers created Officer Down™, Inc. is a statewide not-for-profit organization committed to helping any permanently disabled or deceased New Jersey law enforcement officers and their families in times of need.
The criteria: “any full-time Law Enforcement Officer in the State of New Jersey in financial need, regardless if the injury or demise occurred on duty or off and regardless of their union affiliation.”
Werner can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org