Two Retired Police Officers Hit the Road to Support The Front Line Foundation and Minnesota's First Responders
Month-long bike ride has raised more than $12,000 to date
May 15, 2020
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (May 14, 2020) – The Front Line Foundation announced today a partnership with the Outdoor Association for True Heroes (OATH, Inc.) for this year’s OATH Memorial Walk. Frontline Foundation Members Mike and Lora Strauss, both retired police officers in Minneapolis, are in the midst of a fundraiser that will see each bike 15 miles every day for 15 days during the month of May, adding up to about 450 miles. The couple is doing this to honor the 13 Minnesota First Responders who either died while serving their communities in the State of Minnesota while serving ‘In The Line of Duty’ or lost their lives or were seriously injured in activities ‘Beyond the Call of Duty’ during 2019 and through 2020 to date. Mike and Lora will carry photos of these heroes each day while they do their bike ride in their honor.
The OATH Memorial Walk began in 2016 when Gary Bartels, the OATH Founder and Executive Director, decided to walk from Houston, Texas to his hometown of Kountze, Texas to honor the Texans who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Gary walked 150.25 miles in 4 days, averaging 37.5 miles a day. The following year, the OATH Walking Team grew with more members, and since 2016, the Team has walked close to 2,000 miles.
To date, the Strauss’ have raised more than $12,000 on their bike ride, with about half of their ride yet to be completed.
“We are adding to the work started by OATH,” said Mike Strauss. “We wanted a way to couple our love for outdoor activity with a need to give back.”
The magnitude of the Strauss’ effort has not gone unnoticed.
“This is grassroots fundraising at its’ finest,” said Brent Rohlik, Front Line Foundation Co-Founder and Board Member. “It’s so inspiring when people take a passion that they have and do something with it for the betterment of society.”
Rohlik added that first responders are more important than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic. He hopes the Strauss’ ride brings awareness and support to those who take care of the public in emergency situations.
Founded in late 2018 The Front Line Foundation was formed to support, Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters and EMT first responders across Minnesota to grant financial support to families of first responders who have died in the line of duty. The Foundation’s mission is to bridge the gap between the death and benefits being paid, which can help families with ongoing expenses. The Foundation also provides support in the purchase of tactical equipment for first responders which is not included in department budgets.
To support Mike and Lora Strauss on the ride to support the Front Line Foundation please visit http://www.thefronlinemn.org and you can donate following directions there.
“We are grateful for the support Mike and Lora are showing,” said Rohlik.” These are very trying times and it is nice to know there are people willing to give of themselves to support those who protect us.”
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About the Front Line Foundation:
The Front Line Foundation began as an attempt to help and support our Fallen Heroes, including Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, EMTs, and the Minnesota National Guard. The Frontline Foundation provides support to those who died while in the line of duty, by giving benefit payments to dependents of fallen first responders. Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and EMT First Responders face armed and dangerous criminals, impaired individuals wielding weapons, even emotionally charged, and threatening domestic disputes. To date, The Front Line Foundation has paid out 11 death benefits to first responders’ families to deal with expenses before long-term benefits commence. In addition to providing endowments and support for the families of fallen heroes, The Front Line Foundation will underwrite scholarships and training registration costs for Front Line personnel as well as support preparedness training for safety officers in hospitals, schools, and places of worship. Further, we assist with the purchase of needed safety and tactical equipment not currently within the budget of the local unit of government. For more information please visit http://www.thefrontlinemn.org