A Ballwin woman is making it her mission to help support injured and fallen officers in the St. Louis area. She's already helped raise more than $60,000 for Ballwin Police officer Mike Flamion, who was shot in the line of duty last July. Now she's leveraging all of St. Louis County to help the family of fallen officer Blake Snyder.
Katie Zaitz-Fink isn't a professional fundraiser, event planner or organizer. She's just a compassionate person who's driven to help after an officer is hurt or killed in the line of duty. And lately she's got quite a knack for getting people to join her cause over a plate of food.
“You can go all the way back in history and meals always unite people,” said Zaitz-Fink. She helped make history in July when she organized a dine out event for Ballwin officer mike Flamion. 30 restaurants donated $61,000 in support of Flamion's recovery. Now Zaitz-Fink is hoping to capture lightning in a bottle a second time, feeling compelled to hold a dine out event for the late officer Blake Snyder.
“I have too many friends with St. Louis county police and responders. So I had to do something. And it just broke my heart, this man, 33 years-old, he has a 2 year-old son and a wife and was in the prime of his life. I just needed to do something for him.”
Those feelings are shared by the team at Big Chief Roadhouse in Wildwood. The owners are donating 100-percent of their profits to Officer Snyder’s family. They did the same for Flamion and saw a record turnout in support of the officer.
“It was on a Monday and we don't open until 4:00 on Monday. We had a line out our door at 3:45,” said restaurant general manager Michael Rempe.
“It was kind of a no-brainer to do it again. It was like, our arms are wide open to help the first responders. They do so much for us and we just wanted to go big again,” said co-owner John Fox.
Over 200 restaurants are on board for the November 1st event.
“Everyone should come out because this is probably one of the biggest things they can do right now,” said Fox.
“We are successful because of the community and it's only right for us to give back to the community and that's just how we feel,” added Rempe.
Restaurants have signed up to participate and donate part of their profits to help the family of the fallen St. Louis County officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty Thursday.