Stand T.A.L.L. was thrilled with the turnout for our first-ever “Back the Blue” Antique and Collectible Car Parade held on Saturday, November 14, to support local law enforcement.

As reported in Blue Ridge Now and WLOS, the event drew about 30 motorcycles and antique and collectible cars for a procession through downtown Hendersonville.

Read the entire article from Blue Ridge Now below, and visit WLOS to read their coverage of the event. 

If you're interested in donating toward the purchase of protective vests and field trauma medical kits with NARCAN for local K-9 units in Henderson, Polk, and Buncombe counties, click here

From the Hendersonville Times-News

Stand T.A.L.L. President Ron Kaufmann wasn’t too disappointed when about 30 motorcyclists and antique and collectible car owners showed up for a Back the Blue parade fundraiser that wound through downtown Hendersonville on Saturday.

After all, he and Stand T.A.L.L. Vice President Sharon Hanson had no idea what to expect for the first-time event, which raised money for emergency medical kits and bullet-proof vests for K-9s used by area law enforcement agencies.

“Actually, I’m very, very pleased,” said Kauffman, who founded Stand T.A.L.L. – an acronym for Thank a Local Lawman – several years ago to raise money that augments police department budgets throughout Western North Carolina.

“It’s something we can build on,” he said. “It’s really not about the money; it’s about supporting the police.”

And that is exactly why Larry Lynn of Flat Rock joined the parade in his British-made 1948 Ford Anglia.

“With all the car shows being canceled because of the COVID pandemic, I get out and do these things whenever I get a chance,” said Lynn, who heard about the fundraiser through his Carolina Mountain Car Club. “I very much support the police.”

Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin stopped by to give a brief thank-you speech at the event’s starting point in the Fresh Market parking lot off Greenville Highway, with seven members of the Hendersonville and Laurel Park police departments standing nearby.

Hanson, who began raising money for K-9s three years ago, said Stand T.A.L.L has donated enough money to buy the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office seven bullet-proof vests for K-9s, but more are needed by surrounding city and county police departments.

She also said the vests cost nearly twice as much as those for humans.

“They’re about $1,750 each,” Hanson said. “They’re lightweight, and they’re custom made.”

The vests are a godsend to both the animals and their handlers, according to Maj. Frank Stout.

“We’ve got dogs on each shift because you never know when you’re going to need one,” said Stout, whose department has received seven K-9 vests from Stand T.A.L.L. “We have utilized our dogs multiple times in felony arrests that have kept our officers safe; that dog is a significant tool.”

Kauffman started raising money to support law enforcement in 2013 after listening to a Milwaukee County, Wisconsin sheriff talk about community relations during a conference in Atlanta.

“He said it would really be nice if someone, somewhere would say thank you” to police officers, Kauffmann said. “That just resonated with me.
“Cops, they have a terrible job on a good day, and nobody ever says thank you,” he added. “It’s a way to say hey, we really appreciate what you’re doing.”
Stout said Kauffman has been an “incredible partner” to his department, and that Hanson has been a “driving force” in fundraising.

“We’re just grateful for everything Ron and Stand T.A.L.L. do,” he said.