Image Caption – Law Enforcement United (LEU) awarded the Spirit of Blue Foundation $20,000 at their 7th Annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride arrival ceremony. Presenting the donation from LEU was (left to right) Wallace “Chad” Chadwick, Executive Director; Sam Frye, Chaplin; Allan Iverson, Operations Director; Steve Callow, Associate Executive Director; and Mark Faust, Director of Outreach. Receiving the donation was Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue Foundation.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – June 6, 2016 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation is excited to report that it has received a $20,000 cash donation from the National Board of Law Enforcement United (LEU). The gift was presented to the Spirit of Blue at LEU’s 7th Annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride arrival ceremony held this year at the United States Marine Corps War Memorial on May 12, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Nearly 1,000 active duty and retired law enforcement officers and surviving family members ride over 250 miles each year to honor the sacrifices that fallen officers have made in service to their communities and the families they leave behind.

“Law Enforcement United is committed to honoring the fallen and remembering the survivors left behind after a law enforcement officer death,” commented Wallace “Chad” Chadwick, Executive Director of Law Enforcement United, who also serves as a Sergeant with the Chesapeake (VA) Police Department. “We are proud to partner with Spirit of Blue this year to promote and assist in a proactive solution to prevent law enforcement injuries and deaths through grants awarded for deserving departments. Any way we can improve an officer’s work environment and equipment is a step in the right direction.”

Law Enforcement United consists of chapters in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey along with riders who join from a host of other states across the country. Each rider raises their own funds to participate in the annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride, which covers the cost of their participation and generates funds to be donated to select law enforcement causes. A subset of riders also participate in Project Active Armor, where riders wear ballistic vests along the entire route of the ride to demonstrate that with today’s body armor it is not only possible to bike 250 miles in their vests, but that there shouldn't be any reason law enforcement officers can’t wear theirs while on duty. In addition to the gift made to Spirit of Blue, LEU also presented $75,000 to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) and $300,000 to the Concerns For Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) national organization.

“You quickly find that LEU and their riders have tremendous hearts and are dedicated to giving of themselves to serve the needs of the community they work within,” commented Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue. “We both agree that we want to see fewer officers lost each year and we want fewer families to be affected by those losses. Instead of LEU building the capability to do that work on their own, they have elected to partner with Spirit of Blue so that we can do what we are best at, and that is granting safety equipment and safety training.”

Since 2011, the Spirit of Blue Foundation has awarded 39 grants in 19 states valued at nearly $200,000. The grants have varied from patrol rifles, body armor, riot control gear, AED’s, K9’s, forensic software, flashlights, Police/Youth Dialogue training, night vision optics, LED flares, ballistic helmets and self-contained breathing apparatus. The Spirit of Blue Foundation deeply appreciates the generosity and support of the national LEU organization, its Board of Directors, their regional chapters and each of the riders who participate in the Road to Hope Memorial Ride each year.