America’s Defenders Foundation founders Mike and Lailani Rumfield started the Thin Blue Line Ball in 2015. Then-President of the Collin County Deputies Association Mike attended Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Goforth’s funeral earlier that year. Upon returning to North Texas, an emotional conversation with Lailani inspired them to organize the first Thin Blue Line Ball. The initial ball was co-hosted by the Collin County Deputies Association, Frisco Police Officers Association, Plano Police Officers Association, and the Allen Police Officers Association. The intention then and the continued intention today is to honor the officers that have made the ultimate sacrifice while honoring and celebrating the active officers of today. Considering it was organized in less than eight weeks, the Ball was a hit and hit an attendance of over 125 officers and spouses. Mike and Lailani received many messages and emails expressing the desire to attend the next ball.
After stepping down as president it was decided America’s Defenders Foundation would be born. As a result, CCDA allowed for Mike and Lailani to rebrand the Thin Blue Line Ball under the foundation and grow the event. That decision has turned out to be a great one. In 2018 the Thin Blue Line Ball had grown to over 425 attendees representing four states! There is already interest coming in for 2019 that will potentially expand representation to more than four states, with the possible inclusion of multiple countries. We have had inquiries from officers in Canada, Portugal, and Ireland. We are honored at the continued interest and growth of the Thin Blue Line Ball.
What do we do at the ball? Great question.
The Thin Blue Line Ball consists of an honor guard presentation complete with pipe and drums bands from around the country, memorial ceremony, honor our spouse ceremony, dinner, and entertainment. In 2017 we introduced the “Spartan Award” that will be awarded to a law enforcement officer who performed distinctly and honorably during situations of great difficulty. In the unfortunate circumstance the awarded officer fell during the engagement, the Spartan Award will be given posthumously to the family. The fine details of the event will be withheld as this is an event of celebration and honor for those in our community that sacrifice every day of their lives for the wellbeing of America. This event also allows America’s Defenders Foundation to raise funds through corporate sponsorships, private sponsorships, raffle, and silent auction to accomplish our mission during the year to help as many disabled veterans and law enforcement families as possible. While this event is primarily an appreciation event, it does double as a fundraising effort to continue some of our programs throughout the year.
Traditionally, this event has been closed to non-law enforcement individuals for the intimate and emotional reasons the Ball exists to begin with. As this event grows and as society’s opinion in general changes against law enforcement, we realized we need to allow the opportunity for companies and individuals to show their support for our sheepdogs. We feel the experience the corporate donors will get by being exposed to how we feel about each other during an event like this is so impacting it had to be shared. Law enforcement supporters will walk away from the Thin Blue Line Ball with a new appreciation of the law enforcement community and never forget what they experience that evening. Never!
America’s Defenders Foundation is constantly solidifying relationships and always looking to develop new relationships that wish to support this event. If you might be someone that would like to partner with us or get more information regarding this event please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.