Need for donations underscored with death of North County Police Cooperative’s Officer Michael Langsdorf
By SHERI GASSAWAY
Since 1987, Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses has held its annual fundraising event consisting of boxing matches between first responders to benefit the BackStoppers, an organization that provides immediate and long-term financial aid and other support to families of fallen police officers and fire fighters.
This year, Gun ‘N Hoses is stepping up its fundraising efforts with another event called Night at the Races on Aug.17 to benefit the BackStoppers. And the need couldn’t be greater with the recent death of North County Police Cooperative’s Officer Michael Langsdorf.
OFFICER MICHAEL LANGSDORF
Langsdorf, 40, was shot and killed June 23 at Clay’s Wellston Food Market Restaurant in Wellston after being called to investigate a complaint about a customer trying to cash a bad check. He leaves behind a fiancée and two children.
Langsdorf worked for the St. Louis City Police Department and was a member of the St. Louis Police Officers Association for 17 years. He just started with the North County Police Cooperative in April. Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks, 26, of Berkeley, has been charged in his death and is being held in jail without bond.
‘WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THESE FALLEN HEROES’ FAMILIES’
Pat White, president of the St. Louis Labor Council and member of the Guns N’ Hoses Board of Directors, posted a flier about the new fundraising event shortly after news broke of the officer’s death.
“Sadly, it’s when times like these hit we need to step up and raise money for the families of fallen officers,” White wrote on Facebook. “Maybe someday there will not be a need for a BackStoppers, but until then we need to take care of these fallen heroes’ families.”
White, whose father was a St. Louis City fire fighter, has served on the Guns ‘N Hoses board for five years and has attended almost every Guns ‘N Hoses boxing event since the fundraiser began in 1987. He noted that Officer Langsdorf was the second first responder death in the St. Louis area in a month.
FIRE FIGHTER CHRIS MOORE
On June 6, Chris Moore, a fire fighter/paramedic with the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District and member of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2665, suffered a medical emergency while on duty and died June 8. He also left behind two children.
Jack Martorelli, president of the St. Louis Port Council and vice president of the Guns ‘N Hoses Board of Directors, was one of the original founders of the Guns ‘N Hoses tournament. He said last year the event brought in $800,000 for Backstoppers.
“Each year, we try to top what we raised the year before,” he said. “This year, we’re hoping to hit the $1 million mark and hoping this new Night at the Races kickoff will help us do that.”
ABOUT THE EVENT
The Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses Night at the Races will be held Saturday, Aug. 17, at Fairmont Park at 9301 Collinsville Road in Collinsville, Ill. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the first race begins at 7:30 p.m. The event will also include silent and live auctions and the 2019 team captains for this year’s Guns N’ Hoses tournament will be announced.
Tickets are $100 per person and include valet parking, admission, a race program, a dinner buffet and an open bar. Tables of four, six and 10 are available as well as individual tickets. Each attendee will be entered into a contest and whoever picks the most winners of the night will win $1,000.
Reservations are required for the event. You can make checks payable to Guns ’N Hoses and mail to Steve Holley, 9137 Darlene, St. Louis, MO 63123. To pay by credit card, call Holley at 314-495-0820.
TO DONATE DIRECTLY TO LANGSDORF’S FAMILY
Donations for the Langsdorf family may be mailed to First Community Credit Union,
17151 Chesterfield Airport Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63005 or to Backstoppers, P.O. Box 795168, St. Louis, MO 63179-0700. You may also donate online at backstoppers.org/donate.