ST. LOUIS – Neighborhoods in the St. Louis area are showing their true colors – or rather, color. Homeowners have switched out their porch lights with blue light bulbs.
The “Blue Lights for BackStoppers” movement started out with one home that has grown to several hundred. And it shows no signs of letting up. In just a matter of days, more than 2,000 bulbs have been purchased.
“It looks amazing. It’s really nice to drive down at night, and see all the lights,” said Tony Schrempf, a Lieutenant with the Fenton Fire Protection District.
Schempf has taken a special interest in the cause, knowing that the proceeds all go to BackStoppers. The non-profit organization provides assistance to families of fallen first responders.
The need is highlighted by recent tragic events.
“Our community suffered a devastating loss of one of St. Louis’ finest, Police Officer Tamarris Bohannon. He left behind a wife and three children. BackStoppers immediately stepped in. And financially assisted his family,” said Charles Metzner, co-founder of the St. Louis Hero Network.
Metzner, a firefighter with The S.t Louis Fire Department, came up with the campaign idea. He said the mission of “Blue Lights for BackStoppers” is simple: to light the St. Louis Metro Area in blue, in support of local first responders.
It is a mission Schrempf has taken to heart.
He has fought six times in Guns ‘N Hoses, the annual boxing fundraiser that supports BackStoppers.
One of his recent bouts was in honor of his friend, fallen Maryland Heights firefighter and paramedic Chris Moore.
He said the news of Tamarris Bohannon’s death is a reminder that the support is needed year-round.
“Officer Bohannon – it’s just terrible. I hate to see the community going through such hard times,” said Schrempf. “But that’s why I’m doing this. I want to support BackStoppers.”
Schrempf said he originally purchased the small blue LED bulbs for his home. When he learned that proceeds benefitted BackStoppers, he went all in and bought several dozen more for his block. He is now block captain for his neighborhood, which is filled with blue lights.
His neighborhood is not alone. Blue lights light up entire streets in St. Louis Hills, Cedar Hill, Fenton, High Ridge, and other communities.
The blue bulbs are 3 for $20, 5 for $30 or 10 for $50.
To purchase the bulbs, visit Heroconnect@stlheronetwork.com