PORT RICHEY — A concerned group of residents created a charitable organization to show their appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line each day to keep the community safe.
Pasco Backs the Blue will hold its second annual Red, White and Back the Blue rally from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Gill Dawg, 5419 Treadway Drive, Port Richey. Proceeds go directly to the Pasco County Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial and Benefit Foundation.
“Two summers ago, the police were really getting a hard time, and I decided that it was time somebody got up on the other side,” said Bob George, Pasco Backs the Blue member. “We inaugurated this event to acknowledge our police officers, especially here in Pasco County.”
The inaugural event raised $11,000 in support of the memorial and benefit fund. The Foundation is looking to build a memorial in Dade City, and once completed, funds will go toward the families of fallen or injured officers in Pasco. Funds raised from the Red, White and Back the Blue rally also are split with Investigation Station, a nonprofit that creates interactive exhibits for children and their caregivers to experience for free.
Live entertainment will begin at 5:30 p.m., featuring Patrick Gibson, The Bearded Brothers and Never Stop Believing — Journey Tribute Band. The rally will also include the national anthem, presentation of the colors, and speakers from families involved with the nonprofit.
“We have entertainment that you couldn’t buy for five times the price we’re charging,” George said. “It’s going to be a heck of a good time for everybody. The first event, I was shocked by the huge outpouring of people for a first-time event nobody had ever heard before, to raise $11,000 for donations. I was blown away.”
Anticipation for this year’s rally has only grown, George said, with more sponsors donating thousands of dollars, and he expects to raise about $30,000 for the memorial. The support from the community feels overwhelming, George said, adding that law enforcement deserves the recognition.
Advanced tickets can be purchased online for $10 or at the door for $15. For more information, visit https://pascobackstheblue.com.