VINITA PARK, MO – Dozens of people show up to show their support and appreciation for law enforcement in north St. Louis County Tuesday night (Aug. 20). Families gathered at Vinita Park City Hall for the annual “National Night Out” event for food, music, and to engage with members of the North County Police Cooperative.
A moment of silence was held for slain Officer Michael Langsdorf, and a young entrepreneur presented the parents of the fallen police officer with more than a $1,000.
Alivia Ball, 11, raised the money by hosting a lemonade stand with drinks and snacks in her Maryland Heights neighborhood in early August. It was the sixth lemonade stand Ball hosted. In the past, she raised money for Food Allergy Research and Education (F.A.R.E.), but this year she decided to split the proceeds.
Officer Michael Langsdorf was shot and killed in June while responding to a disturbance call at a Wellston market. Craig Ball was not sure how much his daughter knew about what happened to Langsdorf, so he said he was proud when Alivia decided, on her own, that she wanted to support the Langsdorf family.
Langsdorf had been a police officer for more than 17 years, most recently with the North County Police Cooperative. He left behind two children, a fiance, and his parents, Bess and Jerry Langsdorf.
“(Michael) would’ve enjoyed meeting her,” Bess Langsdorf said after meeting Alivia. “He was a good dad, and he was good with the kids.”
There have been many fundraisers and events to support Langsdorf’s family. Jerry Langsdorf calls the community support “overwhelming but fantastic.”
“You see his picture, you think, ‘This is because my son has died,’ but all the people, the hugs, the wishes, they take the edges off, make it so we can go on,” he said. “It’s hard, but we’re trying.”
The Vinita Park mayor presented Alivia with an award to recognize her hard work. The North County Police Cooperative presented Langsdorf’s parents with the Medal of Honor.