CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — A local non-profit organization is stepping up in a big way to honor and help the families of fallen and injured first responders.
Backstoppalooza held its 6th annual concert in Chesterfield to support Backstoppers. It's Backstoppers' mission to support first responders injured in the line of duty and the families of those killed in the line of duty.
For Cathy Koch, it's hard to imagine a life without those who protect and serve.
"We back the blue. We need to back our people that are trying to protect us," Koch said.
On Saturday, she and many others came together in Chesterfield to support the families of fallen first responders and the men and women who have suffered life-changing injuries on the job.
"We need to support be there for families and everyone that's been affected by the violence we've had in our area," she said.
Backstoppalooza came to be in 2013. It started after many police departments in the St. Louis region experienced firsthand the death and serious injuries of fellow officers in the line of duty, including one in Hazelwood, two years ago to the day.
While responding to an emergency call, a car hit officer Craig Tudor's patrol car. The crash left him paralyzed from the chest down. Therapy has taken him all the way to Colorado and back and continues today and Backstoppers has been there to help with the bills.
"We definitely need to be there to help those families," Koch said.
It's sacrifice like Tudor's that bring Koch to this event. One she said she could never miss. She hopes the showing of support will also inspire every first responder.
"I think it should happen more than once a year I think we need to have it as much as we can," she said. "I think that they need to see that there's a lot of people that back the people protect us."
Backstoppalooza continues to grow every year. Since the beginning of the event, $200, 000 has been for families of fallen and injured first responders. Organizers hope to raise $80,000 this year.