MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — “Kind of saw a need that police officers weren’t being supported like they used to be, and that they became sort of the enemy,” Terry Gattis, board member of 1078 Foundation, said.
That’s why one group was created, to be a voice for police, but also help their community. As part of our Victory Over Violence initiative WCIA wants to introduce you to the work of the Back The Blue Organization.
The 1078 Foundation, which is police code for “needs assistance,” has been around for about a year, but in May they were named a non-profit. They have brought meals to community members and police, hosted fundraisers and more. They say they want to help the community as well as law enforcement.
“The 1078 Foundation is an opportunity for us to build bridges between law enforcement and the community,” Gattis said.
One group is serving their community, while also voicing their support for first responders.
“The 10-78 Foundation really does try to work with the community and the first responders and so it was just, it was very consistent with the platform I ran on as a County Board candidate,” Brad Passalacqua, board member of 1078 Foundation, said.
Board Members of the 1078 Foundation, Terry Gattis and Brad Passalacqua, said this group is a way to help those in need, which is why they named it after a police code for “needs assistance.” They have hosted a number of events to raise money for different organizations, including their Back the Badge Fest.
They gave their proceeds to Angel Tree, a group that gives backpacks, gifts, coats, and more to kids throughout the community.
“We’re so excited, when they first came to us and said they’re going to give us such a large donation I just cried on the phone. There’s so much we could do with it and so much we can do to help the kids in our community,” Kelly Soliday, Angel Tree Board Member, said.
Besides donations to people who need it, they also want to be a voice for police.
“Our goal is really to make both parties understand each other, work together, and open that communication,” Passalacqua said.
“We want to be able to support them. We want to be able to help them. We want them to feel that what they do still matters,” Gattis said.
Police are happy to have support.
“They’re acting as a voice not only for us, but also for community members who are afraid to speak up and voice their support for law enforcement,” Michael Metzler, Mahomet Police Chief, said.
The board members said they hope to bridge the gap between the community and police.
“Whatever we can do to help embrace the law enforcement officer, we want to be able to do that as an organization,” Gattis said.
The organization was founded by Matt Stuckey. For more information go to https://www.10-78foundation.com/. You can also find them on Facebook at 10-78 Foundation.