Putting the finishing touches on a special fundraising effort, Laura Tartaglione, the founder of HONORBANDS to honor law enforcement officers who gave their lives in the line of duty, made a trip to Valley Home this past week.
Coming up from Southern California, Tartaglione and an assistant stopped by the school on Sept. 4 to bring pizza and cake to third graders and the seventh/eighth grade class.
She was there to thank third graders Millie Cox and Ashlan McCurley for their recent lemonade stand effort, an effort that brought in some $1,420 for the cause. Tartaglione sends the black bands to departments who have lost an officer; she gets the badge number of the officer and personalizes the bands for each department. Along with Cox and McCurley, the thanks were also extended to Millie’s older brother, seventh grader Cooper Bartholomew, who helped with the set-up and take down of the lemonade stand, which was set up in the Valley Home Community Park on Friday, Aug. 16.
Tartaglione told the students a little bit about the HONORBANDS program and said grassroots efforts like the lemonade stand make a big difference in helping her continue the effort.
A former police officer herself, Tartaglione saw a number of area law enforcement personnel – from CHP to Oakdale Police to Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies – and local firefighters attend the assembly at Valley Home School as well. She thanked the young trio for their “wonderful” fundraiser and support of the cause.