An eastern Missouri bridge will come tumbling down in March by the winner of a raffle to benefit a St. Louis County organization. The lucky person gets to press the magic button that makes the structure collapse along Highway 47.
Marschel Wrecking, LLC in Fenton is organizing the fundraiser for BackStoppers. The non-profit launched on September 11, 1959 to help families of first responders who have been severely injured or died in the line of duty.
BackStoppers advisory board member Jeff Backhaus says the community support has been unbelievable. More than $2,000 worth of raffle tickets have already been sold.
“If one of us do not come home after a shift, that’s a huge relief for us going into work and doing our jobs on a daily basis to know that our families are taken care of,” he says.
The bridge connects Franklin and Warren Counties. The new one has already been built and is open next to the bridge that will be coming down soon.
Backhaus says he’s happy with every penny raised.
“Who gets to push a button to blow the bridge up? How often does that happen? Everybody thinks it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says. “It’s something neat. It’s something unique. It doesn’t happen every day.”
BackStoppers supports about 80 families and its annual payout is about $1.3 million in survivor benefits.
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