Officers drenched for a cause at Police Relief Association concert
While Tropical Storm Henri was still hours from making its landfall in New England, some of Dartmouth’s first responders still ended up getting soaked.
Only this drenching was for fundraising purposes, as part of the return of the Dartmouth Police Relief Associan’s annual Concert on the Green following last year’s pandemic cancellation.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said officer Joe Vieira.
The community event first began in 2002 as a replacement for the policeman’s ball fundraiser.
Richard Medeiros, president of the relief association, said the change toward a yearly concert came as the association wanted to include more members of the community, particularly families, better connected with the police department.
“People used to dress up in a bowtie and other formal attire — it was a formal ball,” he said. “But that slowly passed its time, plus this accommodates more people and it’s a fun way to give back to the community.”
The concert is currently in its 18th year of raising money toward funding scholarships for Dartmouth’s high school seniors.
With last year’s concert axed, fundraising was instead done through mail-in donations. Even with the change, Medeiros said that kids were able to obtain the same amount of money they would normally receive.
“We didn’t really lose anything over that,” Medeiros said.
But with half of all residents vaccinated against the virus, Medeiros and the association were more than ready to bring the show back to the Stackhouse grounds.
“People are hungry for a nice outdoor event,” he said.
Despite the impending Hurricane Henri, people were packed in on camp chairs and picnic tables as they listened to Journey covers by the band Worlds Apart.
“It’s so much fun,” resident Vanessa Nogueira said. “Who doesn’t love Journey?”
Along with the music and socialization, parents sipped beer, wine and sangria while their kids had fun in a bounce house and got their faces painted.
The biggest hit was the event’s biggest money maker: the Dunk-A-Cop game.
Throughout the concert, officers Amanda Tavares and Justin Medeiros took turns sitting under a dunk tank, still in uniform.
Along with the seasoned dunk tank veterans was newcomer Trevor Gregoire, who was appointed to the force last month.
Gregoire said despite the constant cascade of water, it was a very fun way to connect with the town he serves.
“I’m a little wet, but I’m alright,” he laughed. “I’ll probably do it every year now.”