LaPorte fundraiser hopes to bring in $30,000 for first responders

NOW: LaPorte fundraiser hopes to bring in $30,000 for first responders

LA PORTE, Ind. -- An event in LaPorte is on track to raise $30,000 for local first responders.

Red, Wine, and Brew had over 1,500 people in attendance Monday night. For $30, those people could drink all the wine and beer they wanted from 30 breweries and wineries. All the proceeds will go back to police officers, fire fighters, and EMS personnel.

“Our first responders who risk everything, 24/7 are people that are going to benefit from this,” said Pastor Dennis Meyer, an event organizer.

This is the event’s second year. Last year they were able to raise $14,000.

“We’re hoping maybe we can get that number up to 30,000 for our first responders,” said Carey Garwood, event organizer.

Meyer said it’s a win-win for first responders and event goers.

“They feel the support and we want to continue to support them,” said Meyer.

Meyer and Garwood said that it was important to raise funds for these men and women, but also have some fun at the same time. There were live performances from local bands and one of country’s biggest names, Dylan Scott.

But the real show was the K-9 demonstration. Two deputies gave event goers a live look at what they’re donations would be paying for.

“We’ve got two dogs coming up for retirement and we’re going to have to get two dogs and these dogs are very expensive but they’re also a great tool for our department to have,” Deputy Robert Greer, La Porte Co. Sheriff’s Office K-9 patrol unit.

Captain Mike Kellems said a replacement dog for the K-9 unit is a huge expense “that’s not born by the taxpayer, doesn’t have to come out of the sheriff’s department’s budget” and that programs like this support that replacement process.

Deputy Greer said he was excited to get face time with people in the community, because he normally doesn’t get to “stop by and say hi.”

“They can talk to us see that we’re human beings behind the badge,” said Deputy Greer.

LaPorte will be equally busy for July 4 with what the city is calling the biggest Fourth of July parade in the whole state, starting at 10 a.m. That parade will be followed by a fireworks show at 6 p.m.

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