This weekend the Stillwater Police Association will host its annual fundraiser that benefits local law enforcement.

The Stillwater Police Association will host the benefit Saturday, Jan. 18 from 7-10 p.m. at Oak Glen Golf Course and Banquet Center, 1599 McKusick Road N. in Stillwater.

The evening, which includes bluegrass and country music, a silent auction, cash bar and appetizers, raises money for police officers in need, memorials, officer training and equipment.

The Pale Ales, Becky Schlegel and Tony Andreason & Friends will provide music throughout the evening.

Advance tickets are $15 or $20 at the door. Kids age 12 and under are free.

Stillwater Police Department Sergeant Austin Peterson said the benefit funds supports the Stillwater Police Officers who are in the association as well as the larger law enforcement community.

“The vast majority of what we take in goes to families of fallen officers or officers in need,” Peterson said.

In fact, the association formed several years ago after officers scrambled to help a young officer who had an unexpected cancer diagnosis. While fellow officers helped with errands like plowing and buying groceries, Peterson said they decided to form the association in case something similar happened again.

“The goal is to help these people out when they need it,” he said.

For example, earlier in January, Peterson said the Stillwater Police Association donated money to the family of fallen Pine County deputy Ben Neel, age 37, of Pine City, Minn., who died of brain cancer. The association also donated to the family of Waseca police officer Arik Matson, age 32, of Freeborn, Minn., who remains in critical condition after being shot in the head while responding to a report of a suspicious person with a flashlight in the backyard of a home.

Peterson said the association will raise funds with silent auction items, many of which are sports-themed, including: Minnesota Timberwolves tickets, miniature Vikings helmets signed by players, as well as a signed Kyle Rudolph jersey. The association is also auctioning off a retro Pepsi cooler, Xbox One bundle and gift cards.

“There’s a little over 30 items total, and they’re all great items,” Peterson said.

A raffle will also be held at the benefit, where prizes include a Yeti cooler, NFL.com gift card and $50 cash prize. Tickets for the raffle are $10 each.

Fundraising aside, Peterson added the benefit is a good chance to get to know Stillwater Police Officers in an informal setting.

“I think it’s a good night just to put names to faces and meet somebody outside of being on call,” he said.

Contact Kevin Ott at kevin.ott@ecm-inc.com

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