On May 10, 2019 the Saint Paul Police Foundation produced one of their most successful annual benefits to date. The Blue Nite Gala again took place inside the beautiful rooms of the Saint Paul Hotel and featured dinner accompanied by an auction and award ceremony.
Guests particularly enjoyed the knighting ceremony, performed by St. Paul Winter Carnival’s King Boreas, honoring Todd and Michael Johnson and Dan Reardon. The ceremony recognized their works to assist and benefit the SPPF. Earlier this year, the Johnson Brothers Foundation donated $80,000 for a pilot program for nonlethal pepperball ammunition. Dan Reardon, Chair of Otto Bremer Trust, has given more than $750,000 over the past decade, including $250,000 this year.
At the event, the Chief of Police, Todd Axtell, presented the Rowan Award. This reward is granted to officers who display integrity, courage, and innovation, representing the best of police service. This year’s Rowan Award was presented to Tom Reis, who has been with the department for almost twenty years. During that time, he has shown exemplary respectful enforcement and dedicated community engagement. He was nominated for his commitment to improving and strengthening police-community relationships.
This year’s Giving Moment benefitted COAST, the Community Outreach and Stabilization Unit. The COAST Unit consists of the Mental Health Resource Team (MHRT), the Recovery Access Program (RAP) and the Police Homeless Outreach Program (PHOP). Together, this group seeks to be part of the conversation before tragedy occurs—and possibly prevent or disrupt the behaviors. Overall, the Giving Moment raised a total of $28,250. Which will go a long way to further the unit’s community activities.
Overall, the event garnered more than $180,000 for the Foundation’s work, with an average of $669 raised per attendee—the best average attendee giving ever seen by the Saint Paul Police Foundation.
SPPF would like to thank all the donors and sponsors for your contribution to the success of the Gala. Many hours of work went into the organization of this event and the Foundation is thrilled with how splendidly it turned out.