IMPERIAL — A salute to law enforcement was held for all personnel that put their lives on the line for Valley residents Saturday afternoon at the fairgrounds during an appreciation dinner in their honor.
“It’s a terrible thing when we reach a point in this country when a congressman can hang a picture betraying cops as pigs killing innocent people,” declared Don Floyd, referring to Rep. Lacy Clay’s (D-Mo.) public display of painting depicting a confrontation between black protesters and police officers stylized as feral pigs. Floyd said the congressman’s actions served as the reason and nucleus of why he organized a dinner to appreciate Imperial County law enforcement. “A sitting congressman hung this picture [in the U.S. Capitol] and that is not is good and that doesn’t set well with me.”
The Casa de Manana building oozed patriotism from the red, white, and blue tablecloths to the corresponding balloons, patrons outfits, and the Valley’s finest gracing the hall with the Big Bad Wolf Band playing all-American tunes in the background.
As a man of action, Floyd called on local volunteers Robin Elmore, Brett Leavitt, and Mary Frances Fleming to make the idea a reality. Organizations from throughout the Valley donated gifts to be auctioned, as appropriate for the second amendment crowd, guns and ammunition were popular.
Barbecue beef, beans, salad, salsa, and rolls were all donated for the cause.
“It wasn’t hard to find people and businesses to help when they heard the cause was to honor law enforcement and the money raised would go to a wall for fallen officers to be built at the Pioneer Museum,” Leavitt said. Some of the proceeds will benefit the families of fallen law enforcement.
The 60 plus tables were sold out, but many buyers were out of town or volunteered to give their tables to law enforcement who were guests of the organizers, Robin Elmore explained. The volunteers called and reached out to every city and county law organization inviting them and their guests to a night of music, food, raffles, and honor.
The evening ceremonies began with the final roll call of Valley fallen officers. The emcees for the evening were Don Brock and Larry Fleming. Special speakers were former Valley congressman Duncan Hunter and his son, Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr., who represents a different district.
The evening was also a fundraiser for Duncan Jr. to show appreciation for the Iraq veteran who personally took down the offensive painting of the policeman portrayed as a pig killing innocent citizens that hung in the Capitol.
Besides speaking, Hunter Sr. brought highly valued western art by Olaf Wieghorst to be auctioned. Wieghorst is known for his Western genre, Indian, cowboy, and horse paintings that recorded an era of the cowboy and the great American West. Duncan Hunter and his son presented Floyd and his wife, Carol, with a Wieghorst lithograph, Boom Town Saturday, signed on the back by both Hunters.