Buffalo County business owner rallies community behind law enforcement with benefit concert

Published: May. 20, 2023 at 9:05 PM CDT
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BUFFALO COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - With the recent deaths of officers Emily Breidenbach, Hunter Scheel and deputy Kaitie Leising, the owner of Barn Again Lodge decided to rally the community.

This as national police week comes to a close.

“We’re all like ‘we need to figure out what we can do to make a difference.’ So, I said ‘I have the venue, ;et’s see if we can get everyone to pull together and make it happen.’,” said Melissa Schoeder, the owner of Barn Again Lodge.

With the help of four bands, staff at the barn and many volunteers, a benefit concert was made possible.

“This is a fundraiser to raise some money for the families and departments of the three law enforcement officers from the Cameron Police Department, Chetek Police Department and St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department,” Kyle Downing with Hope 4 Heroes.

After much mourning, Buffalo County Sheriff Mike Osmond is glad to see a show of positive support.

“Everybody’s in a great mood and unfortunately in law enforcement, you tend to see the people on kind of their darkest times. It’s really nice to have to community out here in good spirits and enjoying the day. Good music, good food. It’s been really good, not just our small community here, it’s people from all over the place,” said Sheriff Osmond.

The event is donation driven, everyone is attendance encouraged to give what they can. The sales from food and drink going towards the families and squads of the fallen officers.

Beyond that, organizers hope for continued support for those in blue.

“Support your local law enforcement, treat them with respect. They’re there to help. They have hard days and hard calls,” said Downing.

“Even if it isn’t for Hunter, Emily or Kaitie, but recognize your law enforcement and tell them thank you,” said Schoeder.

In the darkest of times, kind words are something Sheriff Osmond said helps with healing.

“I really just want to say, from law enforcement, we really really appreciate... all the community support that we’ve seen in the last two months.”

If you would like to support the families of the fallen officers:

Donations can be sent to WESTconsin Credit Union. Checks should be written to “Benefit of Deputy Leising,” and can be dropped off at any branch. Checks can also be dropped off at the St. Croix County Sheriff’s office.

A social post via the City of Chetek Facebook page states, “A memorial fund has been set up at Sterling Bank under City of Chetek Emily Breidenbach Memorial Fund. All monetary donations can either be dropped off at any Sterling bank location or by mailing a check payable to City of Chetek with Emily Breidenbach Memorial fund in the memo line to Sterling Bank 427 Second Street PO Box 106 Chetek, WI 54728.”

A social post via the Village of Cameron Police Department Facebook page states, “All monetary donations for Officer Hunter Scheel can be sent to Community Bank of Cameron. Their information is below. On behalf of my department, we thank you for your continued support!

- Chief Adam Steffen

The Hunter Scheel Memorial Fund

Community Bank of Cameron

PO Box 457

101 W Main Street

Cameron WI 54822″