SALEM, go. (WDBJ) – What started with a man donating baseball tickets to police officers has snowballed into what could be one of the largest law enforcement collections in Virginia.
The Roanoke County Sheriff’s Department and 19 other police departments have received some special deliveries recently: ball game tickets.
Without them, Aware Foundation would not be possible.
Kenny Jarels, president of the Aware Foundation, often works with police to find missing children. Every summer, he donates a dozen tickets to officers and their families to attend Salem Red Sox games.
When other local businesses and organizations learned of his mission this year, the community donated thousands of dollars, allowing Jarels to purchase more than 800 tickets to the game on August 28.
“I had a long-time season card holder, Paul Davis, donate 50 tickets, and it was only snowing from there,” Jarels explained during the delivery in Salem. He says he still does not believe in how much the gesture has grown.
“When these guys, men and women in blue leave the house every morning, they never know when they will return, and that night they do not have to worry about it. They come out and have fun at the Salem Red Sox, ”said Jarels.
The team’s general manager Allen Lawrence says that the event may be the first in a new tradition for seasons to come.
“All good ideas start somewhere, right; this has become bigger and better than we could have ever imagined, ”said Lawrence.
The organization is also planning a special way to recognize officers during the game.
“We are honored to have so many police officers and their families out here for all the great things they do for us and society; it’s the least we can do, so we’m happy about it. ”
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