Belpre Area Veterans sell blue light bulbs to support police
Set to hold ceremony
BELPRE — Belpre Area Veterans hope to light up the city with blue light bulbs on Sunday evening for their “Support the Blue” campaign, which is raising funds and support for Belpre police.
“We came up with the idea at a meeting one night just to do something to support the police department,” said Bill Harpold, president of the Belpre Area Veterans. “Just to let them know that we support them and appreciate everything they do for us.”
For the past six weekends, Belpre Area Veterans have been selling the light bulbs from 9 a.m.-noon for $2 each at Howes Grove Park in Belpre next to the senior center and veterans memorial. They will also be selling the light bulbs Saturday and before their lighting ceremony Sunday.
“It has really taken off,” Harpold said. “We were surprised … it’s been a real good turnout.”
So far, they have raised $1,680 for the Belpre Police Department and have sold nearly 800 bulbs.
On Sunday, a Lighting Kick-Off will be held at the Belpre Senior Center on Washington Boulevard, with Belpre Mayor Michael Lorentz and members of law enforcement anticipated to be in attendance. The public is encouraged to attend.
“We’ll do a little presentation and talk about it a little bit and hopefully by 9 (p.m.) we can have the lights turned on,” Harpold said. “Sunday is the start of National Police Week, so we figured it was one of the better times to kick off.”
Belpre Area Veterans was formed three years ago after the closure of the Belpre American Legion, and the organization currently has 28 members, according to Harpold.
“We started from scratch, and so far we are getting to be known around town and more and more people are starting to join,” said Gary Henderson, vice president.
The organization aims to increase awareness and support for those who have served and for those who serve, with initiatives ranging from student recognition at local area high schools for graduates who plan to enlist in the military, as well as flag distribution at the graves of fallen heroes and other aspects of historical awareness. Their hope is that they can instill the pride and appreciation of service in younger generations.
Jenna Pierson can be reached at email@example.com