Event of the Week: Starlite Pizzeria Event

4/22/2013

Pizza Fundraiser Supports Police Unity Tour

It is unfortunately rare that a day goes by in this country when an officer of the law doesn’t fall in the line of duty. Initial reports of such an event will hit communities hard, but it usually won’t take long before the details of those incidents are forgotten to the general public.

Stuart Slotnick, a 20 year member of the sheriff’s department in New Jersey’s Essex County, is one of the many people working to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The Police Unity Tour was first organized in May 1997 with the hope of bringing public awareness to those who perished in the line of duty, and as a way of honoring the ultimate sacrifice they made. This year’s four day trip will take participating cyclists from East Hanover, NJ to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (NLEOM) in Washington, D.C.

Slotnick helped organize a fundraiser at Starlite Pizzeria in West Orange, NJ to raise money for Team Essex, his touring team. The event raised around $1,200, which will help pay for riders’ hotel stays, fuel for the support team vehicles along the way and donations to NLEOM. This is Slotnick’s third year on the tour.

“We have about 12 members of  Team Essex,” Slotnick says. “Members are either bicycle riders who ride in memory of a fallen law enforcement officer, or support personnel .

“I am actually motorcycle support for motorcycle officers who break down ,” Slotnick explains. “I follow the procession, and tow any disabled motorcycles to the local dealer, which is usually Harley. Since I have been on the tour, only Harley’s have broken down!”

Slotnick used Facebook, flyers, email, and word of mouth to let people know about the fundraiser, and says that getting people to buy tickets in advance was the hardest part of planning.

About 50 people attended the pizza, beer and pasta dinner. Entertainment was provided by a two-piece band and ticket stubs were used to give out door prizes of iTunes gift cards, team tee shirts, and ticket books for a nearby amusement park.


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