The next major event is Corks for Cops on Friday, Aug. 11, at the party barn of Alan Ward’s the Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cidery that opened last summer. It is across the road from St. Paul’s Mountain Vineyard, at 731 Chestnut Gap Rd. near the Chimney Park Hwy (U.S. 64 E.). Event hours are 5:30-9 p.m.
Admission is $12, and includes the first glass of wine. There will be live music, food, wines and ciders. Board Pres. Kauffman said several other projects are in the works.
Stand T.A.L.L. has arranged for free Coffee for Cops for a week each month since October. The next one is July 17-22, in David Schnitzer’s Appalachian Coffee Co. at 121 N. Church St. in Hendersonville.
Stand T.A.L.L. stands for Thank A Local Lawman, and focuses solely on Henderson County. The non-profit group began its fundraising in July of 2016. Founder and board Pres. Ron Kauffman said they raised over $5,000 in the first five months, and nearly $15,000 more this calendar year — with over $3,000 of that from the “committed” board members. He said most money is from private donors. He said overhead is very low, for “basic” operation expenses.
Board members are Pres./Treasurer Kauffman, V.P. Dr. Maureen DiRienzo, Secretary Kelsey Mossberg; also Barbara and Alan Ehrlich, Charles Gruehn, Merry Guy, Sharon Hanson, Jim Humphrey and Barb Molton. The group has no paid employees, and seeks more volunteers.
“We’re always looking for good people to join our team,” Kauffman said. “Tax-deductible donations are always welcome. Our funding needs are ongoing, as area law enforcement have many un-budgeted and unfunded needs we work to provide.” DRienzo and Kauffman get updated lists of “their most urgent unfunded needs,” reaching out to each of the law enforcement departments within the county.
Two bright blue mountain patrol bicycles valued at $1,000 total were donated June 6 by Stand T.A.L.L. to Laurel Park Police for summer use in neighborhood policing.
LPPD Chief Bobbie Trotter said this results in “more direct contact with local residents” and a “higher level of visibility” as far as Jump Off Rock. She requested one bicycle; getting two is “amazing.” LPPD added racks and other accessories.
Also recently, $500 went on May 23 for the sheriff’s use. Two staffers get re-certified to teaching deputies proper taser use Another use is advanced training that includes responding to cases of Fentanyl overdose. That “fulfills an unfunded need” as well, Sheriff Charlie McDonald said. He thanked Stand T.A.L.L.’s “continued support” and their donors. Hendersonville Police (HPD) Chief Herbert Blake is also grateful
HPD got 15 bullet-proof outer vests, with $3,600 Stand T.A.L.L. provided in December. Now, Laurel Park Police might get some vests or ammo, with $500 which is a common Stand T.A.L.L. grant amount.
Other earlier donations were for ammo for active shooter training, skills and stress management training. Kauffman said such training advances officers’ “careers and capabilities,” their “skills and value.”
In addition, the group plans further grants beyond the $1,000 in May for those taking the Basic Law Enforcement Training class in Blue Ridge Community College, Kauffman said.
Business owners are joining the cause, on an impressive level. Stand T.A.L.L. has gotten more than 60 businesses in the county to display Blue Backers signs supporting law officers, and more and more businesses to step up such as by donating or hosting fundraisers or the coffee weeks.
Van’s Chocolates owners Will and Celeste Ralston, who gave 215 boxes of premium candies for Valentine’s Day, offers an ongoing 10 percent discount to military veterans, law enforcement officers and firefighters.
Dan Poeta’s Horizon Heating and Air Conditioning and Matt Johnes’ Hannah Flanagan’s Pub and Eatery are presenting Stand T.A.L.L. in October one of their monthly $1,000 grant to local non-profits, via their Community Fund.
Stand T.A.L.L.’s most recent fundraiser raised about $500 in Pizza with a Purpose, June 13 in Iannuci’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant. Owner John Iannuci donated 10 percent of his proceeds that day to Stand T.A.L.L., Kauffman said. He added donors were “very generous, and the event was a lot of fun.”
New this year, food and drinks work as a theme for Stand T.A.L.L. Tap a Keg Thank a Local Lawman raised about $400 April 23. It was in Sanctuary Brewing at 147 First Ave. E., owned by Lisa McDonald and Joe Dinan. Black Mountain City Limits’ played “country rockgrass,” at the five-hour event. Band members, some of whom are military veterans, said they are happy to help raise money for law officers.
Attendees included many from the Nock family, which has been in law enforcement for decades. They said how impressed they are by Stand T.A.L.L.’s many events. Sisters Allison and Natalie Nock were there. Allison is the sheriff’s community relations media specialist.
Both of their parents are retired law enforcement officers. Bill Nock was with Hendersonville Police. Gloria “Glo” Jackson Nock was a sheriff’s captain. She was active with DARE anti-drug education. Last year she helped start non-profit religious Camp GLOW (Glorifying God, Leading Youth, Organizing Community, Without Addiction). It carries on mentoring of overnight DARE Camp. Her brother Dean Jackson was a sheriff’s K9/canine officer.
Next Coffee for Cops are: July 17-22 in Appalachian Coffee Co., Aug. 21-26 in The Baker’s Box, Sept. 18-23 in Pop’s Diner, Oct. 16-21 in HenDough & Hendersonville Donuts, and Nov. 5-11 in Village Cafe & Pub.
Prior ones were in Joey’s New York Bagels in October, The Green Room Cafe in December, McDonald’s in January; Jonga Java, Mike’s on Main, Black Bear Coffee Co., Sweet Gypsy Coffee, then The Ugly Mug in June. Kauffman hails the “support and generosity of our local cafes, coffee bars and restaurants.”
For more on Stand T.A.L.L., call 393-0900 or check www.thankacop.org. The site includes the Blue Notes newsletter, and list of Blue Backer businesses.