A recent concert series earned the Sherman Police and Fire Associations $12,400 which both associations intend to split. The money, which will go to support members of the departments in time of need, was given to the organizations Tuesday night during the City Council meeting.
“I wanted to thank the Sherman Police and Fire Departments for all you do, (and) the associations,” Mayor David Plyler said. “Since I’ve been mayor, I’ve really seen you reach out to those in need of service.”
The money was generated through the Blue Sky Songtellers concert series, a two-night country music event held at Kidd-Key Auditorium in late July and August. The concerts featured music from Jason Allen, Judy Booth and Dorchester’s Phillip Wildman, among others.
All proceeds went to the associations and this is the second year for the concert series.
“We wanted to do something good for the people of Sherman and we think they really enjoyed it,” concert organizer Scott Shadden said. “They do a lot of good in our community, our first responders.”
Nearly 400 people attended each of this year’s two concerts. The two night of music and storytelling raised slightly more money in 2019 than it did the previous year, Shadden said.
Sgt. Kevin Garbacik, who is president of the Sherman Police Association, said he believes the organizers for the concert are close to members of the department who took care of them previously and view the concert as a way to repay them.
Funds like those donated Tuesday go to more than just police officers. The funds will help out other staff including dispatchers and support staff, Garbacik said.
“It doesn’t just involve the officers of the department,” he said. “It is all members of the department.”
In the past, these funds have been used to assist members of the department in emergencies, including a Christmas house fire, cancer treatments and other emergencies that require staff to step away for an extended period.
“Thankfully, these situations are few and far between, but they do happen,” Garbacik said.
More often, the funds are also used for scholarships for the children of department members when they go to college.
Garbacik said the donation from the concert was on the higher end of donations that the association sees. However, donations like this have allowed the organization to not solicit for funds in recent years.