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PBA invited to speak at Rotary Club meeting

Networking is key to the process of educating community about the PBA and PBF
On December 6, 2012, Cary Chapter and NCPBA Division President Randy Byrd was invited to speak to the Kildare Rotary Club in Cary about the PBA and PBF.  This invite came through Chase Wellford who is the brother of PBA member Courtney Wellford.   For a number of years, Chase has attended the ‘George Almond’ Officer of the Year Banquet with his sister and parents.  Each time he attended he came away impressed with the work that the PBA and PBF were doing to help officers.   When Chase recently became a Rotarian he thought it would be a great idea to present the PBA and PBF to his fellow members. 
Fellow PBA member Chad Penland and Executive Director John Midgette also attended the meeting.  Officer Penland nearly lost his life in an on duty motorcycle accident in July of 2011.  After extensive rehabilitation and surgery he was able to return to full duty.   He knows firsthand the benefits of being a PBA member as funds were raised through the PBF to assist him and his family during his recovery.
During his presentation, Byrd spoke about the benefits of the PBA and how officers need legal protection in today’s litigious society.  He also spoke about the political activism of the organization and how the PBA endorses and supports candidates to pass meaningful legislation to enhance officer benefits and working conditions.  He took the time to explain how the Cary Police Departments K-9 program was started because of the Cary Chapter’s involvement with local elected officials.   Byrd spent the last part of the program talking passionately about the death benefit that the PBA provides and how the PBF helps in this process along with other initiatives to help officers’ families.   He closed out his remarks by showing a video from the ‘I wish you knew’ series about Sgt. Mickey Hutchens who was killed in the line of duty in 2009. 
The Rotary Club members in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the PBA and PBF and this was relayed through Chase Wellford in a follow-up email.  According to Wellford, “I just wanted to thank you so very much for coming out and speaking to my Rotary group.  I know I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that it was a wonderful speech and very engaging.”  He added, “It meant a lot to me to have you take time out of your busy day and enlighten my fellow Rotarians about all the good work the PBA and PBF is doing for officers and officers’ families in the community!”

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