By Kevin Deutsch
The 22 + Heroes Project, a local nonprofit focused on preventing suicides of former and active military and emergency responders, recently raised more than $3,000 to help renovate the public safety memorial garden in Coral Springs.
The organization raised the money at a raucous comedy show held in March at Tavolino Della Notte in Coral Springs. A capacity crowd packed the house to hear comedian, writer, actor, and producer Marty Nadler, who worked on numerous shows, including Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, and Perfect Strangers. Nadler performed alongside his son, Charlie.
The Margate-based 22 + Heroes, founded in February 2021, aims to help law enforcement officers and first responders struggling with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The CDC and other organizations that study suicide rates found that law enforcement officers and emergency workers are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.
A 2019 study found that between 17 percent and 24 percent of public safety telecommunicators also have symptoms of PTSD, with almost a quarter of those who participated in the study suffering from depression.
Paul Kunder, a Coral Springs resident and one of the founding members of 22 + Heroes, said all $3,028 raised at the comedy show was donated to the Coral Springs Fraternal Order of Police to help renovate Coral Springs’ Public Safety Memorial Garden, which honors fallen first responders.
“The 22+ Heroes Projects was created to raise awareness to and prevent suicides among our military and first responders here in our South Florida Community,” said Kunder. “If we can make a difference and potentially save one life, then our efforts would have been worthwhile.”
The nonprofit also donates to other good causes related to its mission. Their next major fundraiser is scheduled for Sept. 17, 2022, at Burn One Cigar Bar in Margate.
At the local memorial garden, plans are underway to improve accessibility while honoring the police department’s fallen heroes more effectively.
Renovations include creating a memorial wall, improving the landscaping, creating plaques for the deceased, and more.
“We wanted to support the Coral Springs FOP and their efforts to build the memorial,” said Kunder, calling the fundraiser “a night of fun and laughter for a great cause.”
The Public Safety Memorial Garden is located at 2801 Coral Springs Dr.
To donate to the renovation project, visit the Coral Springs Police Officers Foundation website.
Send Your News to Coral Springs #1 Award-Winning News Site Here.
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
- Crime & Safety2022.07.01Coral Springs Woman Killed By County Bus
- Crime & Safety2022.06.29Antisemitic Pamphlets Left at Homes in Parkland and Coral Springs
- Crime & Safety2022.06.27“I Fear For My Life”: Woman’s Social Media Post Leads to Attacker’s Arrest
- News2022.06.27Coral Springs Crime Update: $17K Grand Theft on University Drive