REDWOOD CITY (KRON) — A 6-year-old tradition is hitting a little harder this Saturday as the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office remembers officer A.J. Arqueza.
Each year the San Mateo County Code 30 Foundation hosts a brewery festival to raise money for injured and fallen officers’ families.
Backing the blue, with some brews.
“Fundamentally, the reason why people are here is to support those officers that are lost,” fellow Correctional Officer Matthew Horsley said.
“We had a member die in a drowning accident just a few days ago” Deputy David Wozniak said. “He left behind two kids under five and a wife and they’re having a really tough time right now. So this is a fundraiser that we already had in the works.”
Wozniak, who is also the president of the foundation, said though they wish there wasn’t a need for the foundation, it is important to have.
“When something happens it’s usually very quick and tragic,” he said. “To help the family requires a tremendous amount of money. We’ve learned unfortunately through the years we needed a foundation to help with that.”
The organization has already donated nearly $40,000 to help Officer Arqueza’s family through this tragedy.
Horsley said seeing nearly 500 people come out to support his friend is touching.
“He was very family-oriented,” Horsley said. “He was a great guy and we’re all very deeply affected by his loss, everybody at the jail is. As much as this is a fun event to be at, we know it’s for a very good cause and we’re here to help those families who are affected by tragic events.”
The sold out event raised a few thousand dollars that will all go toward the foundation. Officer Arqueza is expected to be laid to rest next week.