SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A generous fundraiser held over the weekend in support of the Santa Barbara Police Foundation raised an estimated $250,000. The official amount is still being calculated from the live and silent auction items, along with sponsorships for the event called "Fun with the Force."
About 400 people attended Sunday evening at a private estate in Summerland. Food was provided by several local restaurants including Lucky's, Los Arroyos, The Lark, Ca Dario, and Opal.
The money will pay for equipment not funded in the annual budget allocated by the city.
It has helped over the years with supplies for the K-9 unit, SWAT, and for financial support officers may require in the time of personal or family needs.
"The foundation does amazing work in that area. It's important because these are people who go out, they serve the community, they don't ask for anything, they never ask for anything but the foundation is there to help them through some tough times. So we are thankful for that," said Sgt. Mike McGrew with the Police Foundation.
The group is a non-profit, and funds are completely separate from taxpayer dollars in the Santa Barbara general fund.
Those attending were able to see demonstrations and handle some of the front line police equipment.
Officer Greg Hons said those who won a "Day with the SWAT team" or a "Day with the K-9" will see demonstrations and be part of the training experience that will be a life time memory.
Supporters say they see their dollars translated into real equipment and directly helping specific needs. "It's a win-win for everyone. It protects them. It protects us. It is money well spent and I was thrilled to be a part of it," said Jim Nigro a longtime supporter of the organization. "They all know these officers are out there every day fighting for us, to make sure Santa Barbara is a safe community,"
More information will be posted to this story with video later today.