Coptoberfest 2019

Money raised from Coptoberfest 2019 was distributed to three organizations on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, at a ceremony held at the Public Safety Building in Johnstown. From left to right are Kevin Pollino, Trooper Scott Urban, Trooper Robert Kunsman, Paul Murphy, John Herdman, Georgina Suder, Trooper Cameron Ferguson, Mark Britton and Cindy DeBarto.

Four friends wishing to help law enforcement masterminded Coptoberfest held Oct. 12 in People’s Natural Gas Park in Johnstown.

The $5 tickets raised $10,000 for Operation Guardian for Distressed Officers and $5,000 each for Camp Cadet programs in Cambria and Somerset counties. A check passing ceremony was held Thursday at the Public Safety Building on Washington Street.

Kevin Pollino, Mark Britton, Georgine Suder and Paul Murphy, owner of Murphy’s tavern on Franklin Street, spear-headed the musical fundraiser.

“We got together as a bunch of friends and wanted to create a rainy day fund for our local heroes,” Pollino said. “Every now and again our heroes have to step away from the fight for personal business and they’re out of work a couple of days, weeks or months.”

His son and two of his brothers are police officers and his father is a retired officer.

Pollino’s brother, Stonycreek Township police Sgt. David Pollino, was seriously injured in an off-duty motorcycle accident in September 2015. He was off work for about five months.

“We said we need to do something for officers that are on hard times,” Britton said in a earlier interview. 

“The Operation Guardian for Distressed Officers fund helps when something like that happened.”

Musicians including the Chris Higbee Band took the stage.

Camp Cadet, founded in 1976, is a nonprofit organization that educates boys and girls from 12 to 15 on the criminal justice system and establishes positive relations with law enforcement.

Pollino, Britton, Suder and Murphy attended the check passing ceremony. 

They were joined by Cambria County Camp Cadet representatives Trooper Scott Urban and Trooper Robert Kunsman; Somerset County Camp Cadet representatives Cindy DeBarto and Trooper Cameron Ferguson; Johnstown police Detective Mark Britton; and FOP Lodge 86 representative Sgt. John Herdman.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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