Page 14 - Jan2022_FOP_Magazine
P. 14

I was elected as a trustee for FOP Lodge 7 and was brought up as a field rep- resentative the last week of July 2021 when Mike Mette was reassigned to officer wellness for the Lodge.
After moving in to my of- fice and before getting set- tled, our team was thrust
into the chaos of the line-of-duty death of Ella French and the serious injury of Carlos Yanez Jr. The services for Ella were delayed while arrangements could be made and family could travel for ser- vices.
Fast forward to Aug. 16 in Indianap- olis at the National FOP Conference, which is the first time I saw Belvina Ranney, aka “Bo.” She stepped up to the microphone to speak to the thou- sands of police officers attending the conference about Ella’s murder and the catastrophic injury to her cousin, Car- los Yanez Jr. Bo spoke about the state of law enforcement today, how her family prays for each and every officer working and how the family was grateful for all of the prayers and love and messages sent to Carlos Jr. and the entire Yanez fami- ly. She felt the prayers were working, as Carlos worked very hard to recover from being shot multiple times.
I next saw her when Lodge 7 Presi- dent John Catanzara asked me to as- sist the family with transportation to and from the wake and funeral for Ella French. Knowing they had a big family, we secured a 15-passenger van for the task. The family included parents, cous- ins, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandchil- dren. The family talked about prayer and the power of prayer and how they believed staying positive and praying would help heal Carlos Jr. Despite the need to be at the side of Carlos Jr., the entire family attended the wake and fu- neral so that they could support Ella’s mom, Elizabeth, and pray for her family.
Who knew that two days in a van would make me an honorary member of the family? Every time I have run into Ruth and Aunt Aura, they make it a point
to come say hello, hold my hand and of- fer prayers and express gratitude for ev- erything the membership has done for their family. They truly never felt alone, and they knew they had prayers in the thousands for all of them.
In November, the family hosted a Friendsgiving at the Lodge to invite all their friends and family and offi- cers who supported them during Car- los’ miraculous recovery. When I stood there and watched Carlos Jr. walk into the Lodge that day, I knew I was seeing God’s answered prayers in front of me. The amount of gratitude this family had was nothing short of amazing. This family has nothing but happy smiles, kind words and gratitude, despite hav- ing experienced this traumatic event.
At that Friendsgiving, when Bo heard that the annual Lunch with Santa would not be hosted at the hall this year, she said, “Yes it will. The Yanez family would like to make it happen.” One conversa- tion with President Catanzara, and the promise of the Women’s Committee to
volunteer and assist the Yanez family with whatever needed, and Lunch with Santa was back on. More than 200 kids and families attended. The hall was dec- orated like the North Pole, and the Ya- nez family created a joyful celebration of family. Carlos insisted on being seat- ed up front and greeted every officer, family member and child and thanked them for their support and prayers for him and his family. Again, nothing but gratitude from the Yanez family, who had already started paying it forward for the love and support they received while Carlos was healing.
I’m hearing rumors that Lunch with the Easter Bunny is in the works already. Bo is ready to hit the ground running and give back to the membership. If you happen to run into the Yanez family at any event, please make sure to say hello and introduce yourself to them. You will fall in love with them and instantly feel like part of their family.
Field Representative’s Report
The family of faith

   12   13   14   15   16