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Vt. Ride Aids Fallen Officers’ Families

  • Officers listen to a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after Vermont State Trooper Michael Johnson who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event  will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. From left, Deputy Sheriff Marc Poulin, Sheriff Sam Hill and Capitol Police Officer Dale Manning. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

    Officers listen to a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after Vermont State Trooper Michael Johnson who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. From left, Deputy Sheriff Marc Poulin, Sheriff Sam Hill and Capitol Police Officer Dale Manning. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

  • Patti Johnson Wolff, sister of fallen Vermont state trooper Michael Johnson, speaks at a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after the Vermont State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event  will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

    Patti Johnson Wolff, sister of fallen Vermont state trooper Michael Johnson, speaks at a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after the Vermont State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

  • A button showing fallen Vermont state trooper Michael Johnson hangs on a sack on a motorcycle at a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after the Vermont State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event  will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

    A button showing fallen Vermont state trooper Michael Johnson hangs on a sack on a motorcycle at a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after the Vermont State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

  • Officers listen to a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after Vermont State Trooper Michael Johnson who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event  will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. From left, Deputy Sheriff Marc Poulin, Sheriff Sam Hill and Capitol Police Officer Dale Manning. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
  • Patti Johnson Wolff, sister of fallen Vermont state trooper Michael Johnson, speaks at a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after the Vermont State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event  will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
  • A button showing fallen Vermont state trooper Michael Johnson hangs on a sack on a motorcycle at a ceremony for fallen officers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans on Saturday in an annual charity ride named after the Vermont State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Organizers hope the event  will raise about $40,000 for the surviving children to attend camps and retreats with other children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Montpelier — About 300 motorcyclists are expected to ride from Rutland to St. Albans today in a third annual charity event named after Vermont Trooper Michael Johnson, who was killed in the line of duty in Norwich 10 years ago, to raise money for the families of fallen officers. At the same time, the Funds for Fallen Officers Walk also takes place in St. Albans.

Organizers hope the two events will raise about $40,000 for the children left behind by officers who have died in the line of duty.

Each year the country loses 140 to 160 law enforcement officers, said former police officer Harry Herington, of Olathe, Kan., who rode his motorcycle to Montpelier as part of his memorial ride to every capital in the country to raise awareness about the issue and money for the families.

“When we lose an officer, we’re leaving behind a spouse, oftentimes children, a mother, a father, leaving behind grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, neighbors and their fellow officers who are just as close to family members to them. Too often we tend to forget that wasn’t a badge that fell, that was person, that was a loved one. That was somebody that was respected,” he said.

It’s been 10 years since Johnson was fatally struck on Father’s Day by a car driven by a suspect who had swerved to avoid spike strips that Johnson placed across Interstate 91 in Norwich. Johnson’s sister, Patti Wolff, of Hyde Park, said she still thinks of him and misses him every day.

Nine years ago she attended her first retreat held by the Concerns of Police Survivors, and met other siblings who had suffered similar losses.

“The final gift my brother Michael gave me was the amazing group of friends that I now have through COPS. In the nine years since I started attending the retreat, I now have lifelong friends,” she said.

She said she prays every day that no one will have to go through the pain that her and other families have endured.

“Concerns of Police Survivors has been instrumental in my healing,” she said.