Hundreds of people turned out for a fundraiser on Saturday for Law Enforcement Officers Weekend, an organization that coordinates annual trips to Lake George for families affected by line of duty deaths or serious injuries of active or retired officers in hopes to allow them to escape the stress of their jobs and daily lives.
Hosted by Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito at Junction, located at 20 W. Park Ave., the event raised $25,145, which will go directly toward building a weekend getaway in June for law enforcement officers and their families, said Austin Glickman, Long Beach resident and New York City Police Department Officer.
Glickman founded the annual event in 2014, which benefits law enforcement members including police officers, sheriff deputies, parole officers, corrections officers and probation officers. This year, Glickman said he expects hundreds of people from around the country to participate in the festivities in Lake George, which would include barbecues, shopping sprees, boat cruises, shooting competitions, seminars, fireworks displays and more.
“This isn’t a day to be somber, it’s not a day to be sad,” D’Esposito said at the fundraiser. “It’s a day to recognize, it’s a day to salute and it’s a day to celebrate the work and lives of those that have been given in order for us to stay safe.”
The Kerry Kearney Band and the New York Shields Pipes & Drums performed at the fundraiser, where nearly 250 people attended, Glickman said.
“Our organization is completely blown away by the outpouring of support we received at the fundraiser,” Glickman said. “The amount of love and respect which was shown by the Long Beach community towards the Thin Blue Line was astonishing. We are going to do some great things with the proceeds and it’s all because of them!”
This year, LEO Weekend will host the families of late NYPD Officer Kevin Lee and late Davis Police Department officer Natalie Corona.
City Council members presented proclamations to Glickman, Grunther and Green at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Glickman thanked the city’s administration, the Chamber of Commerce and Junction as well as the event’s sponsors, including Beginnings, Brands Deli, Blue Wives, Combined Insurance, Long Beach Printing Company, Long Beach Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, the Police Benevolent Association, LB Social, Smoking Shields, Finest Federal Credit Union, NYPD Traffic Safety Benevolent Association and Sheepdog Workshop.
“We support law enforcement — we back the blue, and we make sure that the men and women who walk that line between good and evil are always taken care of,” D’Esposito said at the fundraiser.
LEO Weekend organizers also announced that they are working with the city to plan an LEO Weekend getaway for the summer of 2020 in Long Beach. Glickman said he is working with the PBA to coordinate the event.
The fundraiser was also attended by State Sen. Todd Kaminsky and former Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, who said he donated $1,000. Kaminsky presented proclamations to the organization.
“As a former prosecutor, I know how hard our police officers work day in and day out to keep our communities safe,” Kaminsky said in a statement. “I was honored to attend Law Enforcement Officers Weekend and support this organization’s vital work. In light of the sacrifices our men and women in blue make to protect us and our families, we owe them and theirs no less.”