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Backstoppalooza draws huge crowd to Chesterfield Amphitheater

"This is just a great summer time event for people who love music and want to help out the BackStoppers," said Chesterfield police Sgt. Keith Rider

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — On a beautiful summer Saturday night, a long line of moms, dads and their children filed into the Chesterfield Amphitheater for a cool concert with a special purpose.

"The weather couldn't be better. I think the band is going to be really fun. We're really excited to be here," said north St. Louis Co. resident Carolyn Herman.

"It's just a great summer time event for people who love music and want to help out the BackStoppers. We always have lots of fun," said Chesterfield police Sgt. Keith Rider.

Backstoppalooza has been BackStoppers' second biggest fundraiser for the past eight years.

People from all across the St. Louis area trekked to the event for one goal: raise money for the families of police officers, firefighters and other first responders who were were catastrophically injured or killed in the line of duty. 

"I support any type of law enforcement and firefighters," said Karen Guevara, whose father is a former, volunteer firefighter on Long Island.

Saturday's benefit concert was touched the Chesterfield resident's heart for many reasons.

"I was also down on Wall Street on 9/11, so I have a lot of friends who are New York firefighters," said Guevara.

George Hodak is a retired police officer.

"Police officers do a lot of things that they are certainly not trained to do, but they do it anyway," said Hodak.

Currently, BackStoppers is helping 80 St. Louis area families, including 77 children.

Since kicking off its fundraiser concert eight years ago, the organization has raised more than $360,000 for families of first responders.

"The crowds have traditionally been enormous and generous," said Rider.

The generous givers said they will keep supporting their "everyday heroes" and their families.

"We have to because they're out there protecting our families," said Guevara.

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