Exercise challenge fundraiser for BackStoppers in Blake Snyder’s honor

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GREEN PARK, Mo. – On Friday, many in the south St. Louis County community honored the memory of St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder, who was shot and killed on duty one year ago.

Several police officers and civilians joined to take part in a memorial barbecue and workout hosted by 1st Phorm in Snyder’s honor.

“This little bit of pain here is nothing compared to what a family goes through and I know that on a first-hand basis,” said Officer Justin Sparks, Snyder’s brother-in-law.

Sparks said that even with a whole year passed, the BackStoppers and strangers are still helping and encouraging their families.

“They’re there for the family that day within hours of such a tragedy,” Sparks said. “I cannot say enough and for the community to come out and give their own money.”

Such events help raise money for BackStoppers, whose goal is to help ensure, fallen first responders are not forgotten.

“There’s no better sign than that,” said Sal Frisella, Vice President of Operations for 1st Phorm.

“It’s not a very good time to be a police officer, but I think there are a lot of people who feel strongly about supporting these people who make sure we can go home safely.”

FOX 2 also spoke with Karen Simpson, whose husband, Chesterfield Police Officer Christopher Simpson, died almost five years ago.

“He succumbed to a heart attack 20 minutes after his shift ended and he was in the training room,” she said.

Simpson said that since that day, BackStoppers has been by her side.

“We are not alone and there are people out there that have our backs,” she said. “Just knowing that you need to turn a corner and somebody is going to help guide you.”

Jeremy Branson was just 12-years-old when his father, St. Louis City Police Officer James Branson Jr., was killed on duty in 2003.

But Branson said BackStoppers stepped in right away to help his mother and three siblings.

“Really helped her financially and even with college we don’t have to worry about debt and I can focus knowing that I’m ok and that my mom is ok,” he said.

The BackStoppers were presented with a $50,000 check at Friday’s event, money that was raised through a $25 purchase of 1st Phorm t-shirts.

The next fundraising opportunity will be the 31st annual Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses boxing event, scheduled for November 22 at Scottrade Center.

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