Daniel Brunken wrote -
Aloha! Ok I know what you might be thinking... "Great, another money campaign for charity!". Yup, this is, but it's for a great cause (Yes I know. You've heard that one before too...). I have to confess that I think these thoughts too when I see a fundraising campaign but I'm hoping you'll give me a couple minutes of your time to read my story and why I'm fundraising. I guarantee you, it won't be a waste of your time like some videos and stories you see on Facebook that has those catchy liners that sparks your interest and after wasting a couple of minutes of your time, you feel disappointed and robbed.
As you can see in the title I'm raising funds for the Southern California Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors ( www.SoCalCOPS.org ) They service the eight southern counties for the state of California in assisting those survivors who have lost a loved one in the line-of-duty. The Chapter is only funded by the generous donations of persons like yourself or organizations and law enforcement associations who host sometime of event and designate the Chapter as the benefactor of those monies raised.
Let me start off by saying I am NOT a runner. In fact you can pretty much assume I am not the athletic type that does biking, swimming, running, and all the other physical attributes you tend to see athletes involved in. Give me some bacon, pizza, a chair, and a tv and I'm just fine. So then why am I running the Hapalua half marathon (thehapalua.com)??? Before I tell you why I'm running and raising funds for the Southern California Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors , let me tell you about myself.
I'm not a police officer. In fact, I've never been a police officer despite my efforts. The closest I've come to being a police officer is when I served in the Air Force as a Security Police Trainee. However, I was unable to complete my training due to my father's death and the circumstances that arose around his death.
I'm 41 years old and have been married for 14 years to my wife Janette, who unlike me, is actually a runner who has done many half marathons and who will be doing her first marathon, the LA Marathon, in February. I also have 3 boys ages 12, 9, and 4. I'm currently a stay at home parent and have done this job since 2006. It's very rewarding but as you can guess and can imagine raising children 24 hours a day, seven days a week can be very stressful and testing.
Ok so why I am running and why did I pick this organization?
My dad served in the Air Force for 12 years and we got to travel the world during his service to our country. When he got out we moved to Southern California where he was born and raised. For 30 years I grew up and have lived in Southern California before moving to Hawai'i last year.
I have many friends that are police officers and chaplains for departments through out Southern California and have seen through many ride alongs and being friends with them the stresses and pain that come along with the job. Unfortunately, I've seen the devastation an officer killed in the line of duty can do to the family, friends, and officers of the dept as my friends has had to deal with.
I also have a calling for survivors because I've witnessed and lived the experiences and devastation of a parent dying. It is gut-wrenching, painful, and just hard. When my dad died I was 18. He was my best friend and I miss him very much. However, I have 3 younger siblings who grew up without their dad being there for them like I got to experience. Then there's the spouse factor. I can't imagine what my mom went through inside but I do know it was extremely painful and hard for her. In life, death is the hardest thing you can go through.
My heart goes out to police officers, their families and close friends, their partners, and to all who suffer the painful sting of death. Especially those killed in the line of duty and I want to help.
So that's my story and why I want to help out. There is no certain amount of money I need to raise to run, but I want to raise money for them. By donating, you are expressing a thank you to not only the officers that sacrificed their life but you're giving a long distance hug to the survivors of fallen officers.
So will you please donate? Any amount will be appreciated and thanked.
PS. This will be my first ever half marathon