A group of women recently did their part to protect those who protect others.
With 24 ladies contributing, the Redemptorist High School Class of 1967 Ladies Lunch Group collected more than $1,500 for the Capital Area Law Enforcement Foundation (CALEF), a non-profit organization that raises money to buy protective gear for first responders.
With the Ladies Lunch Group’s contributions, the group was able to provide funds for one Angel Vest — a higher quality bullet-proof vest that is capable of deflecting rounds from rifles — and are on the way to purchasing a second.
The group presented the donation to former police chief Pat Englade and Tonja Garafola. Tonja is the widow of Brad Garafola, a former deputy of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office who was one of three law enforcement officers gunned down in an ambush shooting in July 2016.
Garafola spoke beautiful words to the group concerning the loss of her husband and her thoughts of hope for the future.
Englade, a 1970 graduate of Redemptorist High, then explained the Angel Vest and how it was tested to ensure the best protection for officers. Englade, a retired Baton Rouge police chief, is the current president of CALEF, which serves a seven-parish area, including Livingston Parish, by providing protective gear to individuals and departments that can’t afford it on their own.
The Ladies Lunch Group was able to see the vest and understand what it means to be protected.