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K-9 festival brings healing to family of fallen officer

Posted at 11:16 PM, Jan 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-06 23:16:12-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- The first ever Heroes and Hounds Family Festival was full of intense obstacle courses for officers and their K-9's, chili cook-offs and a place to honor those who serve. The day was special for families that had lost a loved one from working in the police force. 

“It still doesn't bring my son back. It never will," said Debbie Burnfield. 

Burnfield spent her Saturday watching the Southwest Florida K-9's run through the obstacle course, one of which is named after her son, Nate, who lost his life in a traffic accident while on duty. She says officers like him and others, deserve a day to be celebrated. 

"The sacrifices that these officers even do, they need to be commended and thanked because it is a tough job.” 

Vendors, like Blue Line Bears, support people like Burnfield by giving teddy bears hand-made from fallen police officers' uniforms to their families, free of cost. The non-profit was started by 15-year-old Megan O'Brady whose father is an officer. 

"As a police child, she understands what it would be like if something happened to me," said Megan's father, Patrick O'Brady. "So for her to give back to a family that’s lost a dad, a mother or uncle or whatever family member it is, or a friend, it’s tough. You know, just giving back is something that we appreciate.” 

The Cape Coral Police Department told Fox 4 they hope to make the festival an annual event.