Mike Heine/The Week
(Published June 20, 2007, 2:29 p.m.)
A Walworth County Sheriff's Deputy will ditch his bulletproof vest and handcuffs for a pair of swim trunks and goggles.
On Monday, July 23, Deputy Ken Brauer will swim the length of Geneva Lake, from Lake Geneva to Fontana, to raise money for the upcoming C.O.P.S. Kids Camp.
The Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) is an organization dedicated to helping the surviving families of America's fallen law enforcement officers through hands-on programs based on strong peer support.
This year's camp is being held July 30 through Aug. 5 at Army Lake Camp at Army Lake in East Troy.
Hundreds of kids who have had a parent or parents killed in the line of duty will descend upon the camp for activities and counseling to help them cope with the loss.
"To say there has been a lasting impression would be a severe understatement," Brauer said of the camp, which he has volunteered at since 2005. "To spend time with the kids who have lost a mother or father in the line of duty was, and continues to be, a fulfilling experience. To meet the widowed mothers and fathers and listen to their stories makes you realize your place in life."
"In becoming involved with C.O.P.S., I have not only become a better person, role model and father; I realize that you must prepare for tragedy to visit your own family, but (I) pray it never does. This is why I give to the C.O.P.S. organization."
Brauer hopes to raise $2,500 for the organization and the camp by swimming the nine miles across the 5,000-plus-acre lake.
"Should the day come that I give my life so that others may live, I will be at peace knowing that the C.O.P.S. organization will give my family the honor, dignity and respect they deserve," Brauer said.
---Brauer is taking mailed donations for his swim, which he will give to the organization when the camp comes to Army Lake. Checks can be mailed to: Ken Brauer, N7768 Laura Lane, Elkhorn, WI, 53121. Put "C.O.P.S." in the memo line of your check.
For questions, contact Brauer at (262) 949-7060.
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