Better Than Ever: The Blue Line Ball 2019
The Night by the Numbers.
Months of planning.
Over 700 guests.
Nearly a dozen entertainers, speakers, and emcees.
One very special "surprise attendee."
An undeniable spirit of purpose, generosity, and support for Minnesota's law enforcement community.
All amounting to $122,400.00 to support Minnesota's Law Enforcement Officers and their families.
Glamour and Generosity
Back and bigger than ever, The Blue Line Ball returned to the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis on May 18, 2019. A beautiful venue, seemingly built for an event meant for all things blue. With it's gorgeous ballroom, modern and fabulous lobby, and as one ball-goer noted: "It even has sparkly black and blue carpets"-The Hyatt truly set the stage for an energetic and glamorous evening for Minnesota's law enforcement supporters.
Guests were checked into the event and were greeted with a hospitality room sponsored by The Fraternal Order of Police and Fowler Ditsch Law Firm. Complete with a signature drink, "The Tacti-Cooler." Before the dinner and presentation, guests were free to play, bid, and browse the various vendor tables (Mic+Tight, Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping, to name a few). This year even saw a live broadcast from The Mix Radio Network, which features a show called "the Queen and the Cop." The silent auction, prize pulls, and raffle were staged and ready. And it took no time at all for attendees to start their bidding and winning. Volunteers from all over Minnesota spent hours gathering donations, organizing auction items, setting tables, organizing vendors, and making the evening truly seamless.
Energy, Smiles, and all sorts of Fabulous.
It's no secret to anyone who has ever attended the Blue Line Ball, that the chance to dress up, be treated to a fabulous meal, and bust a move on the dance floor is one of THE BEST ways to rally around our Minnesota law enforcement community.
(Photos Courtesy of Julie Michelle Photography, Chris Leeseburg, and Backing the Blue Line).
That Dress. That Tie. Those smiles.
It's also the perfect time for officers and their loved ones to shed their uniforms and seize the opportunity to stand out.
Warriors and Heroes: A Meal with an Important Message.
Following the unmistakable sound of the bag pipes, and the Emerald Society Pipers, guests found their place in the ballroom. With LEMA presenting the colors and Natasha Orbeck beautifully singing our National Anthem, the tone was set for a night of honor and remembering the purpose of our heroes in uniform.
Following a prayer for the meal, internet sensations and Emcees, Deputy Hook'em and Deputy Book'em gave guests a taste of their fun humor, passion for speaking the truths of policing in our nation, and genuine gratitude towards those that give so much to support police officers.
Anoka County Sheriff, James Stuart:
Heroes, Warriors, and an Undeniable Purpose.
"When did the righteous become fearful over doing the right thing?" Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart gave guests an opportunity to reflect on the current state of policing in America, in Minnesota communities, and in the media. Taking the opportunity to remind officers to take a long hard look at their purpose and motivations. Encouraging officers to shed the pressures of the media and the external voices that would rather portray officers as "horrific over heroes" and instead remain steadfast in the work of what is good and necessary. Sheriff Stuart was met with applause when he called out the need for training and support for officers in this new era of policing, regardless if these training and exercises include the word "warrior." By the close of his address, Sheriff Stuart's message had eloquently and passionately echoed the sentiments on many of the hearts and minds of those in attendance.
Time to play, relax, and shake that groove thing!
Following dinner, the ballroom transformed from dining to dueling pianos and dancing. The 2019 Blue Line Ball featured the music and fun of Kevin and Nick from Sweet Keys Dueling Pianos, a classic game of Heads or Tails, and a DJ that brought a lot of smiles and sweet couples to the dance floor. Guests danced the night away, visited with friends, made new ones, and were even treated to late night pizza (sponsored by The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis)!
The Sensational Sophina
If you attended the Blue Line Ball back in 2017, you might just recognize this tiny ball of light and joy! Sophina was Backing the Blue Line's Honored Guest in 2017 because of her incredible devotion to Minnesota's first responders. She regularly visits, bakes, and cares for her local departments. And-to top it off- keeps them in her nightly prayers. She made a second appearance at this year's ball and brought with her smiles and the continued admiration of many.
Backing the Blue Line was so proud and honored by your presence at the 2019 ball, Sophina!
Why does the Blue Line Ball Matter? Let Me Count the Ways: A Final Note from the Wives.
Like any good party, it's the day-after reflections and memories that really make a night stick in your mind. Backing the Blue Line Member, Karyn, so naturally put into words how extra special an evening like The Blue Line Ball is to those who live the law enforcement life. Karyn shared with her fellow Backing the Blue Line members:
"So here I am at work, smiling to myself as I reflect on Saturday's events. A coworker asked me "did you have a good weekend?" I replied yes, and told her how [my husband] and I were able to get all dolled up for the Blue Line Ball and dance the night away. Then it hit me: How DO you explain what the Ball is about? How do you explain what a huge room packed to capacity with nobody but those who support the Law Enforcement Community feels like?
Unless they've lived this life, even if they support law enforcement... you just can't. I didn't make it up to the front of the room to see the table set for those law enforcement officer's we've lost and the empty water bowl for lost K9's until I saw pictures. That was almost too much... nails you right in the heart. Powerful and poignant... and all too real. So many people that I didn't meet, but we're all cut from the same cloth. So many people that will never "get" the law enforcement life."
"But you know what gals?
That's fine. It can be our secret.
Let them wonder what the awesomeness they're missing out on is all about." -Karyn, BtBL member
A note from the writer, Caitlin S.,
Like Karyn, an evening like The Blue Line Ball has become an essential component to our marriage, to our understanding of each other has a couple, and to our desire to give back to the blue line family that asks nothing us in return. My husband and I attended our first Blue Line Ball in 2017. I had won the tickets in a Facebook contest and convinced him to take the night off (because maaaaaybe I told him that taking his bride to a ball would get him off the hook for a birthday and anniversary present). We arrived not knowing anyone, probably a little under-dressed, and with not nearly enough room in our trunk for all of the things we wanted to buy at the silent auction. In an instant, we knew that we had found "our tribe." We had walked into a room of strangers and left feeling like we had found long-lost family. For once, my humble husband was celebrated. For once, I felt like there were women in the room who knew me without even having to ask my name. Ironically, on our way home that night I would get to witness my husband do his job when no one else was watching. We had stopped at a stop-light next to a driver who was unresponsive. In the rain, no badge, no uniform, my husband seamlessly transformed from husband to cop. Without hesitation, without question. And it became abundatley clear to me why fundraisers like the Blue Line Ball matter:
"The Blue Line Ball is a celebration of the men and women who so very often embody the spirit of superheroes.
Doing what is necessary, honorable, and right. Most often when no one is watching.
Even on a dark, rainy, exit ramp.
No uniforms. No badges. Nothing.
Only Courage and Duty."
An Enormous "Thank You" to our 2019 Blue Line Ball Major Sponsors and Volunteers!
Wild Bill's Sports Saloon
Franklin Graphics & Franklin Outdoor Advertising
Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis
Fowler Ditsch Law Firm
Tito's Handmade Vodka
Fraternal Order of Police
Homes for Heroes
Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis
Don't want to miss out on the 2020 Blue Line Ball?
About the Writer: Caitlin is a member of Backing the Blue Line member and currently serves as a Sub Chair of the marketing committee. She's also a SWAT attendee, a three-peat Blue Line Ball go-er, and a fierce "heart emoji clicker" in BtBL's private Facebook group. She is a middle school special education teacher and chief chaos coordinator of twin boys. Her dream job would be a talk radio DJ. But only if she could talk about the fluffy stuff. Her husband, a Minnesota State Trooper, has been in law enforcement for 10 years. He is literally and figuratively the brakes to her lead foot.
Join Backing the Blue Line! We invite MN police wives/significant others to become members of Backing the Blue Line to take advantage of all available membership benefits and have additional opportunities to give and receive support. We also invite MN police wives/significant other to join our private Facebook page to belong to a community of support through friendships, networking, and discussion. It is also for raising awareness of the need to support our unique lives and share the bond that comes with being a law enforcement family. Find out more on our About page.