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.