ST. LOUIS — St. Louis-area first responders, police officers, and firefighters were all celebrated under one roof Thursday night during the annual Guns N’ Hoses awards ceremony.
It was a very special night because Guns N’ Hoses set a record for most money raised, $1 million in 2021.
The event also was about recognizing amazing volunteers and first responders. FOX 2’s own Jasmine Huda emceed the event. Organizers gave out awards to public servants like St. Louis County Police Chief Kenneth Gregory.
“Police officers, our profession is nothing without support from citizens. What citizens do outside of the profession, like what Guns N’ Hoses does for the police department and first responders, it’s a great deal big deal for us,” Gregory said.
A special award was also given out for the first time tonight, The Jack Martorelli Memorial Award. The award was given out in honor of Martorelli, who was one of the founders of Guns N’ Hoses. The recipient of the award was longtime volunteer Pat Dolan.
“The significance of the Jack Martorelli Award is he’s one of the founders of Guns N’ Hoses,” Dolan said. “And he’s dedicated his life to the cause into the BackStoppers and said to be honored to receive this award is very humbling.”
Organizers said the event wouldn’t be successful without the support of St. Louis.
“A million dollars is a big achievement. To me, the real success is the amount of community support. People are making small donations, buying tickets. We have sponsors. We have volunteers. It’s really a community effort. That’s the heart and soul of Guns N’ Hoses,” said David Stokes, the president of Guns N’ Hoses.
Every cent from Guns N’ Hoses goes to Backstoppers, and then Backstoppers helps support the families and loved ones of fallen first responders.
“The amazing thing about the community is they step up when there is a need. Unfortunately, the need is still there, and they certainly stepped up for Guns N’ Hoses and fundraisers for Backstoppers,” said BackStoppers president Ron Battelle.
For more information about BackStoppers, visit: https://backstoppers.org/