The Front Line Foundation to Host Ceremony Prior to Annual Golf Tournament on September 7 to Honor 20th Anniversary of 9-11

The Front Line Foundation has paid out $142,000 in death benefits in less than three years to Minnesota’s fallen first responders, including four in 2021


August 18, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (August 17, 2021) – The Front Line Foundation (TFLF) announced today plans to commemorate the events of 9-11 with their annual golf tournament and a ceremony remembering the first responders that made the ultimate sacrifice on that day 20 years ago. The tournament will take place on Tuesday, September 7 at the Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, MN.

This early remembrance of 9-11 will include a special memorial service prior to their annual golf event, which supports the first responders of Minnesota.

“It’s important to reflect and remember the tragedy of 20 years ago, and take a pause to commemorate those who paid the ultimate price,” said Brent Rohlik, TFLF Board Member. “It is the first responders all over this state and country that protect us in the worst moments. We are honored and humbled to recognize their sacrifices.”

Founded in late 2018, The Front Line Foundation was formed to support Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, EMTs and members of the National Guard 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 isn’t included in department budgets.

To date, TFLF has given $142,000 in death benefits to fallen first responders’ families to ease the loss of their loved one.

Since the start of 2021, TFLF has paid out benefits to the families of the following four First Responders who died while serving others: DNR officer Sarah Grell, Paramedic Toby Rowan, EMT Troy Boettcher and most recently Red Lake Tribal Officer, Ryan Bialke.

Rowan, who worked for Mille Lacs Health system in Onamia, was on a medical call when he suddenly collapsed on January 6. Other medical and law enforcement personnel on the scene attempted life saving measures, but Rowan did not survive. Rowan also served the communities surrounding the Cuyana Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Crosby.

Grell was killed in an auto accident on May 24 traveling northbound on County Road 336 near Grand Rapids when a semi-truck struck her vehicle on the driver-side door near the intersection of County Road 57 in Lawrence Township. Grell, who is a mother of three children- ages 13, 4 and 2 - had been a conservation officer since 2005.

Boettcher of Warba perished on June 8 in a vehicle crash in very close proximity to where Grell was killed just days earlier. He had been united in marriage to his wife just months earlier, in October of 2020.

Bialke, 37 of Red Lake and formerly of Buffalo, MN was killed in the line of duty on July 27 responding to a call of a person in distress. The six-year veteran of the department leaves behind three children.

“It’s very apparent that the first responders in this state need our support now more than ever,” said Rohlik. “We cannot fix what has happened to these men and women, but we do all we can to make sure their families are supported during unimaginable times. That support starts with events like our golf tournament.”

This year’s tournament will begin with a ceremony that commemorates the tragic events of 20 years ago, setting the tone for a day of remembrance and community support.

“We are looking forward to coming together on September 7th to acknowledge the dedication and sacrifice of all first responders,” said Cyrea Lynch Director of TFLF Golf Tournament Operations. “We expect this to be both a somber and inspiring day attended by people who continue to be generous supporters of the people who protect us from harm every single day of the year.”

The Front Line Foundation 9.11 20th Anniversary Ceremony At-A-Glance:

When: Tuesday, September 7th at 10:15am, a special remembrance ceremony featuring honor guards, a presentation of colors, the National Anthem, and a wreath ceremony in honor of the fallen and remarks from stakeholders.

Where: Royal Golf Club, 11455 20th St N., Lake Elmo, MN 55042 Ceremony will be held outside on front lawn near clubhouse

Why: To support MN first responders and their families.

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. They are The Front Line Defenders of our neighborhoods, towns, and cities who face and diffuse the high-risk, frequently appalling situations we know or hear about, with disbelief, on the news. 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


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