NASHVILLE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – A non profit group based in Nashville, Ark. is raising money this weekend to help fallen emergency responders across the entire state.
About two years ago, Richard Curry founded the organization called ‘Families of Fallen Officers’ to support the families of emergency responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty across Arkansas.
“It’s my love for for the officers who protect us while we sleep at night,” said Curry. He said the group has issued several checks so far, including one after the death of a volunteer firefighter.
This year, he even started writing letters to agencies nationwide that suffered a loss this year. A wall displays their replies of gratitude. “As of today’s numbers, that number is 89 officers that the United States has lost since the first of the year, and that’s down from last year,” said Curry.
Those numbers, hit home with Curry’s wife, Janice. For months, she’s been working on three handmade afghans to auction off at this weekend’s benefit. She points to a blue afghan with a pineapple pattern, a multi-colored one with a ripple pattern, and a pink afghan. “The pink one is called an Irish rose pattern, and you can tell that it has several different stitches around each square,” she said, pointing to the details of her work.
Some handmade quilts will also be available at this weekend’s live auction. Diann Wooten is donating two of them. She points to one quilt that took the work of four people to finish. “It’s got your feathering here, it’s got piano keys, what we call piano keys on the bottom,” she said pointing to the detail on the quilt.
Wooten said, though she may not know the families, she feels privileged to have the ability to help. “They put their lives on the line for us every day … I mean, that’s just their job, but they still do it from their heart.”
Other items available at this weekend’s fundraiser include chainsaws, a grill and a four wheeler ramp. There’s also a gun raffle.
The event will take place Saturday, September 28, in the park at 1301 Johnson St., Nashville, Ark. The benefit starts at 10 a.m. with a chicken dinner to be served starting at 11 a.m. A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. with the auction to follow.