Aug 302013

It is with great pride that I can announce our chapter won a $5000 donation, to the charity of our choice, from the Markel American Insurance Company. Earlier in the year, Norm Hubbard put out information about the Markel Insurance Company offering policy discounts to the Blue Knights membership. Then it was sent out by the Secretary and put on our website. One thing that was not mentioned back then was the fact that the chapter that requested the most quotes on policies, would win a $5000 donation for a charity. Apparently our chapter contacted Markel making the most requests and Kerri Nguyen, Director of Marketing, contacted me to advise us we had won the national contest. There are a number of organizations that could have been considered, but in the best overall interest in the Law Enforcement Community, I requested that we make the donation to C.O.P.S. Arizona. (Concerns Of Police Survivors). C.O.P.S. basically interacts with relatives and agencies when there has been a loss of law enforcement personnel. On the National level, C.O.P.S. plays a major role in the overall planning and function of the National Law Enforcement Memorial Day (Week) held in Washington, DC and on the Capital Hill grounds. The organization has support groups, presents seminars and arranges for transportation during Police Week. Having attended the National Memorial Service in 2004, Patti and I personally experienced the Memorial Service and the many supportive activities of the C.O.P.S. organization. When John Chrusinski and I started meeting to organize and apply for our charter as a Blue Knights chapter, AZ Highway Patrolman, Blue Knight, John Blaser had been killed by a drunk driver. He and John C. had been talking about starting a local chapter. His widow, Jan Blaser Upchurch is now the President of C.O.P.S. Arizona and for that reason I felt it was very fitting that our chapter contribute our winning donation to the Arizona Chapter of C.O.P.S. The check will be sent to me and Jan wants to set up a time when we can get together for photos. I will let everyone know what Jan is able to set up. I will ask if it would be possible for Saturday, September 14, Breakfast Ride day.

Secondly, I wanted to let everyone know that I consented to do an interview with FOX News 11, out of Phoenix, concerning what the Blue Knights are and what we stand for. They wanted the interview because they were doing a story surrounding the differences between motorcycle “clubs” and “gangs.” It stemmed from the involvement of an LEO motorcycle club from the Prescott area that was involved in a fight at a bar there. I had given FOX the contact information for BKAZVI of the Prescott area, but they “were not available.” I wore my dress white shirt and vest. During the interview I tried to relate why the group started and that was to share the enjoyment of riding motorcycles with other law enforcement officers. In our group, spouses are welcome and are considered with respect and included in activities. I mentioned that members ride many different brands of motorcycles and it is a personal choice. We do not discriminate concerning the brand of bike. I commented that it was unfortunate that fellow LEOs were involved in a bar fight and it reflects on all members of the law enforcement community. I described our chapter logo, the reasons for its design and the continued difficulties many Blue Knights chapters encounter, because their colors reflect the same basic design of the 1%ers, the “Outlaw” motorcycle gangs. We as an International and local group try to promote riding together for the fun of riding, cooperation and support of the community and safety when riding. We also filmed me riding and I wore my shirt and BK vest. I normally ride with full gear year around and I know that my gear and training are the things that reduced the severity of my April accident. Their segment will be aired the beginning of next week, but they said it will be able to be seen on their website. Hopefully they will be accurate in their presentation. I will let everyone know date it will be aired and what the link is for the story on their website.

Ride With Pride

Stan Thibaut
President BKAZIX


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