December 21, 2020
On behalf of myself, Wayne, the Office Staff, and your Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season.
As I stated in my previous President’s Message, 2020 has been a very difficult year for all of us. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nationwide Defund the Police rhetoric and our own General Assembly taking actions to pass laws to make it even more difficult to carry out our prime responsibilities of protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since my re-election last March, because of the pandemic we were forced to cancel our 2020 conference in Williamsburg, the family picnic in Lynchburg and both our Fourth and Seventh Division Golf Tournaments. Both of which generate revenue for our Emergency Relief Fund. We are now faced with the possibility of also canceling our upcoming March conference at the Homestead as a result of the Governor’s latest executive order which limits the size of public gatherings. The final decision will be made sometime next month. Hopefully everything will work out for the best.
Now that I have burdened you with all the bad news of 2020, there has been some good news that we are very happy to report during this holiday season. In late November the VSPA was contacted by the New York City Tunnel 2 Towers Foundation who informed us they were considering paying off the remaining mortgage of the home owned by Jaime Walter and her three children, Austin, Mason and Addison. Jaime’s husband, Special Agent Michael Walter was shot and killed during a stop in Richmond on May 26, 2017. After obtaining additional information from Jamie, the foundation informed us they had approved paying off the remaining mortgage of her home.
On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, during a ceremony at the Walters’ home in Powhatan County the Tunnel 2 Towers paid off the mortgage during their “Season of Hope” event. The Virginia State Police Association was invited to assist the Foundation with presenting the key and cutting the banner during the presentation ceremony. We were grateful that Delegate Lee Ware, Powhatan County, Colonel Gary Settle, Lt. Colonel Tim Lyon, Major Richard Boyd and Major Steve Chumney joined myself, Wayne Huggins and Sandra Winfree for this special event. It was a wonderful blessing to be part of.
Also, on December 10, 2020, the VSPA received an emergency relief request on behalf of a VSPA member in Fifth Division. Shortly after receiving the request our second divine intervention occurred. The VSPA was contacted by an anonymous out of state non-profit organization desiring to make a $5000.00 contribution to the VSPA and a Virginia State Trooper in considerable financial need during the Christmas holidays. We were able to provide them with information on the emergency relief request for the Special Agent and his family. They immediately forwarded us a $5000.00 check which was presented to the Agent last week.
With all the bad we have had to endure during 2020, it is a true blessing that these two events have presented themselves to allow us to assist our members in need during the holiday season.
In closing, again I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season. May God bless you and always remember our motto of “Being Mutually Helpful to One Another”.