A community, including children, is coming to terms with a major loss. Kentucky State Police Trooper Cameron Ponder was killed last week. Whether through fundraisers at local restaurants, or lighting up porches blue, our region continues to support KSP Post 1 and Ponder.
The Valdes family has worked to put together a fundraiser selling blue and black striped bands to support Ponder. The parents are just helping make it happen, but it was the kids who had the idea.
Tyler Valdes says he's faster than his big brother, and he knows that's important if he wants to be a police officer. "I don't really like dying, because when everyone dies I'm like 'I hate dying,'" Tyler says.
His intuitive big brother Noah went to mom and dad. He wanted to do something for Ponder by selling blue and black striped wrist bands. Tyler says they both wanted to help people, "because I wanna' help other people, and I want to help this community stay safe. That's what I want."
All the proceeds from selling the bands will go to Post 1 in honor of Ponder.
Parents Amanda and Griffin Valdes say the boys won't completely understand now, but they'll grow up and realize exactly what their project means. They say it's a very fine line explaining to the boys what's out in the world. As a veteran himself, Griffin knows exactly why the world can be so scary. He says he understands the risk watching your back, but he's watching his children begin to follow in his footsteps.
"Once, when (Tyler) reaches an age and can make a decision on his own, then, if he believes in his heart he needs to serve, I'm not going to turn him down," Griffin says.
That's because he knows one day he may not be there to keep them safe anymore.
The Mayfield mayor will honor the boys on Oct. 12 at a city city council meeting. The entire fire department and police station will be there to thank them.
If you're interested in ordering the bands, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
100 Television Lane
Paducah, KY 42003