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‘Night to Unite’. A seemingly simple statement that holds a much deeper meaning to those who wear a shield.
There is no denying that the law enforcement community is under attack from all angles these days. Discrediting and disrespecting a police officer is more commonplace and accepted these days than shaking one’s hand.
Since the first installment of these gatherings, BBO’s Founder and President Michael Burke had a basic blue print. The goal was to fill a room full of law enforcement members and supporters: a room full of people that, as a police officer, you would know respected you and the work you do.
Over the years, we’ve had some pretty amazing events with experiences that all of our attendees acknowledged as ‘once in a lifetime’. In November of 2016, we held a celebration of life and service, honoring NYPD Detective Steven McDonald and his family.
With the work being done by BBO and our partners Moment of Silence and Blue Magazine, this year’s event will be no exception. In fact, the consensus is that this year’s ‘Night to Unite’ will be raising the bar.
Set for November 21, 2019, at the gorgeous Venetian in Garfield, NJ, the fourth installment of the ‘Night to Unite’ will be bringing together law enforcement professionals and supporters from all walks of life.
NYPD PBA President Pat Lynch will be receiving The Steven McDonald Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented to him by Steven’s son, NYPD Sergeant Conor McDonald. Having served as PBA President since 1999, Pat’s body of work speaks for itself. He is commonly accepted as one of the strongest union leaders in the country, often times being described as a ‘bulldog’. The union business can be thankless. However, no one who has spent a minute in a room with Pat or heard him speak can deny how personally invested in this profession Pat is.
The Man of the Year Award will be going to the Former United States ICE Director Thomas Homan. Serving as the Director of ICE from January 2017 – June 2018, Director Homan lead from the front when it came to defending his men and women against unprecedented attacks from our own governmental officials. In July of this year, Director Homan appeared before the House Oversight Committee regarding the separation of migrant families illegally entering the country. Throughout his testimony, Director Homan demonstrated the same passion as Pat Lynch. It was clear how much his 30+ years of service alongside the men and women of law enforcement means to him.
The Ally Award is being given to 9/11 Attorney Michael Barasch of Barasch and McGarry. Having just recently championed the federal funding for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund with the help of a small army, Michael has been on the front lines of this fight from the beginning. His voice, his passion and his commitment to ensuring that our first responders receive the care they are entitled to has been second to none. Michael has been a huge supporter of Brothers Before Others as well, attending and speaking at select events.
Our Humanitarian Award will be going to Megan O’Grady, the Founder of one of our partners, Blue Line Bears. Since age 14, Megan (daughter of Cape Coral (FL) Police Sergeant Patrick O’Grady) has been hand making teddy bears using the uniform shirts of fallen police officers. While, over the years, some of her bears have been presented to parents or spouses of those lost in the line of duty, Megan’s primary goal is to ‘help the children of fallen police officers cope with the devastating loss of a parent’. We’ve been honored to have witnessed several of Megan’s presentations first-hand and to have presented several of her bears on her behalf. If you have never heard of the work that she has been doing, it will do your heart good to read up.
We have several other awards that will be given out, including The Woman of the Year, which will be announced shortly.
We also have several other honored guests, including Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke who needs NO introduction. From day 1 of this latest war on the American Police Officer, Sheriff Clarke has been THE voice for law enforcement. His unrelenting and unapologetic support for police officers across this country is second to none. Having attended several events where Sheriff Clarke has spoken and even had the opportunity to pick his brain for a few minutes, I can tell you that his passion and determination will make your hair stand up. He is literally and figuratively a giant in this game.
The event will be MC’d by Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik. Of all the work that Commissioner Kerik has done throughout his career, he is best known for leading the NYPD through its darkest hours on 9/11 and the days and years that followed. His experienced, level-headed, and uncompromising leadership is unparalleled.
With a guest list that is growing and many more surprises up our sleeve, this is a MUST-ATTEND, plain and simple! Being in this room will put you among some of the most dedicated, decorated and brilliant law enforcement professionals this field has to offer.
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