New Derek Kotecki-Brian Shaw for Back the Blue t-shirt on sale at Lower Burrell on Saturday
Live music and a new t-shirt commemorating police officers Derek Kotecki and Brian Shaw will feature Back the Blue III on Saturday at Mogie’s Irish Pub and Magill’s Grill in Lower Burrell.
About 400 to 500 people are expected for the 1-8 p.m. fundraiser which benefits the New Kensington, Arnold, Lower Burrell and Upper Burrell Police Departments as well as the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
This is the third annual fundraiser that helps the local police department with additional or unexpected expenses, said Mogie’s owner Dave Magill.
Renowned sports artist Larry “Klu” Klukaszewski designed the new Back the Blue t-shirt featuring the interlocking badges of slain police officers Derek Kotecki and Brian Shaw, both Lower Burrell residents.
Shaw, 25, was working as a police officer in New Kensington in 2017 when he was shot and killed during a traffic stop in New Kensington. Kotecki, 40, was a Lower Burrell patrolman and K-9 officer who was ambushed and murdered by a fugitive in 2011.
Klu donated the design along with some of his artwork for a silent auction on Saturday.
Klu posted on the Back the Blue AKVFacebook page: “It’s an honor to know and help you and all of the committee members, who work so tirelessly to support our police and first responders.”
Last year, the group raised nearly $6,000, said Ron Balla of New Kensington, chairman of the Back the Blue AKV committee.
“It’s nice to see the community go wild in support of law enforcement given what our area has lost,” he said.
“It’s a family event where the public can share their appreciation and interact with the officers,” Balla said.