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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Group schedules dinner to raise money for lost 'heroes'

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Errett Miller was killed in the line of duty Sept. 4, 2006, Supporting Heroes assisted his family through the grieving process. Lewis Township Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the organization Sunday. [Click to enlarge]
The southwestern part of Indiana has lost several members of the emergency response community since September 2006.

Families, friends and communities have grieved over the losses and struggled to put lives back together.

Supporting Heroes offered assistance to the families of Assistant Fire Chief Errett Miller, Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department, Dennise Leslie, Coal City Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, and District 7 Task Force Coordinator Enrico Garcia during the struggle of losing a loved one.

Now, the Lewis Township Volunteer Fire Department in Coalmont is giving back to the organization.

Sunday, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner will take place at the firehouse in Coalmont to raise money for Supporting Heroes.

The ticket price includes salad bar, dessert bar and drinks. Adults can eat for $6 per person, and children under 10 will be admitted for $3.

Supporting Heroes is an organization that assists survivors of police, fire and EMS workers who died in the line of duty in Indiana and Kentucky.

The organization begins their assistance by immediately sending families a check of $3,000 to cover initial expenses. Supporting Heroes then helps with funeral arrangements, and pays monthly bills until federal or insurance assistance begins.

Not only does Supporting Heroes offer help to families immediately after a tragedy, but continually for as long as necessary.

A support network of survivors is available for help dealing with the grief, as well as travel assistance to annual national memorial services.

A Holiday Memorial service is held in Louisville to remember the fallen during the difficult season for grieving families.

Providing these services is expensive for the organization, which receives most of its funds from membership.

Lewis Twp. Volunteer Fire Fighter Diana Harrison said she hopes the spaghetti dinner will raise at least $5,000 for Supporting Heroes.

"It's not if it's going to happen, it's when, where or who," Harrison said.

The Posey Twp. VFD conducted a "Boot Drive" Oct. 13, 2007, for the organization after Supporting Heroes stepped in to help the Miller family.

For its fundraising efforts, Posey Twp. VFD was named a 2007 "Bronze Partner" of Supporting Heroes.

Harrison said Lewis Twp. VFD hopes to have a "Boot Drive" in May, and again in October.

Supporting Heroes started in Louisville, Ky., by retired police sergeant and EMS Eric Johnson on Sept. 11, 2004.

Just 13 days later, Butler University Police Officer James Davis was killed in the line of duty in Indianapolis, putting the organization to its first test.

According to Supporting Heroes, since its inception, 52 emergency response workers died in the line of duty in Indiana and Kentucky, and more than $300,000 of aid has gone to the surviving family members.

The Lewis Twp. Fire and Rescue building

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