More than 200 people were in attendance at the 7th Annual Heroes Ball, which kicked off a successful event this past weekend with firefighters, police officers, governmental officials and other citizens coming together in cowboy hats, tuxedos and elaborate ball gowns for a luxurious evening out on the town.
The Dickinson Police and Fire departments teamed up together for the 7th Annual Police and Fire 2021 Heroes Ball Saturday, April 3, at the Roosevelt Grand Dakota Hotel. Followed by a social hour and dinner, Dickinson Police Chief introduced keynote speakers Rapid City Police Lt. Tim Doyle, of Rapid City, S.D., and his wife Charity.
Doyle shared his riveting story of being shot during the 2011 North Rapid City shootout that took the lives of two officers, and left him more than a week in a hospital, with a gunshot wound to his jaw.
“I looked at what it is and it’s a great cause. There’s so much negative out there when it comes to law enforcement. If I have a chance to go to someplace and help somebody do something positive, I’m more than happy to do it,” Doyle said, with a bright smile.
Even though Doyle has shared his story countless times to crowds, he was full of jokes and inspiration. But this event was special, for it was Doyle’s wife’s first time telling her side of the story.
“I’ve done it so much, it’s not a big deal for me. The only part that gets hard for me is when we start talking about my kids. The incident, itself, is not an issue but for my wife, Charity, she’s never talked about it publicly, so this was the first time we’ve done this together,” Doyle said. “... I can tell her side of it, but it’s not the same obviously as her doing it. So it was nice to have her up there. Talking through this, I did it a lot after the shooting and that was kind of part of my recovery; it was like counseling but just out in front of everybody. So talking through it was how I got through it.”
DPD Detective Sgt. Kylan Klauzer wanted to invite the Doyels to give people an understanding of community and law enforcement wellness.
“It’s a gripping story in itself, from his end of it. But (just) as importantly is getting a chance to meet his wife Charity and understanding her perspective coming out of this as a wife and a mom, going through a traumatic situation that they had to go through. So hearing her up on stage tonight was as important as anything,” Klauzer said.
Following the Doyles' message, the event proceeded with a live auction with items ranging from a grill to an Elite Compound Bow. Event proceeds helped benefit the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center, Dickinson Police Association and the Dickinson Volunteer Fire Department.
“(We) had 232 tickets sold, so I’m pretty excited about that. Coming out of 2020 with the restrictions and different things that were out there, that was part of wanting to limit the capacity (for this event),” Klauzer said. “... So bearing that in mind, we’re extremely happy about it… With everything that we’ve been dealing with as a community, this is kind of a testament to the community and everybody’s excited we’re able to get together for a cause like this — for domestic violence, the police department and fire department.”
The annual Heroes Ball also helps promote the Heroes Park project, which is proposed to be located near the northside of the West River Community.
“It’s going to be personal to the community because it’s going to have the fire department (and) police department’s insignia and it’s going to be something that the community can just grab a hold of and feel really proud about,” Klauzer said, adding,” Of course, the Heroes Park from the kids’ end of it, I think it’s going to be something that’s really exciting.”
The Heroes Park will be a designated area for early aged children, including fire trucks and police cars detailed with Dickinson Police and Fire departments insignia. Klauzer added that there is a possibility that this initiative will also include a water park.