Jim Fogleman FOP Lodge 50, Inc.
Jim Fogleman FOP Lodge 50, Inc.
 

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A Message from President Luis Blasco
Jan 01, 2024

As another year draws to a close, most of you will be in the midst of preparations for this festive season. This is a very special time of the year as it gives people a break from the hustle and bustle of our everyday working schedules. It provides many of us with some time to enjoy the company of family and friends that is all too often missing for the rest of the year. I urge each one of you to reflect on these special moments and savor the relationships that we have tried so hard to cultivate over the years.

2023, without a doubt, has been one of the most exciting years for Lodge 50. Being your President is by far the highest honor of my professional career. At the same time, this year has been one of some sadness as we were the only Palm Beach County police labor union that honored fallen PBSO Detective Clarence “Bud” Backherms at this year’s Florida State Fraternal Order of Police Law Enforcement Memorial. As you may know, Bud was shot while on duty in 1990 and survived. Unfortunately, Bud would suffer greatly from his wounds throughout the remainder of his career and subsequently retired for medical reasons. He succumbed to these injuries in 2019 and his name was finally placed on the list of fallen officers at the State Memorial, as well as the National Memorial Wall.  We also have a few members who are going through some difficult situations within their family environments. While keeping with the spirit of this joyous time, it is equally important to take a few moments and keep these members in our thoughts and our prayers.

On a happier note, 2023 saw our membership totals skyrocket, particularly among PBSO law enforcement and corrections deputies!  We continue to provide expert legal and labor counseling at a reduced cost when compared to other police labor organizations.  I have always professed that our continued success has come to the attention of the new generation of PBSO employees who have the courage and tenacity to make the switch. Our best recruitment tool is our members’ word of mouth and endorsements to their fellow officers. Keep up the good work! Always remember, there is strength in numbers.

We are no different from any other labor organization when it comes to backing candidates for political office.  Lodge 50 has listened to its members and proudly stands by our conviction in endorsing and supporting retired PBSO Chief Deputy, Michael Gauger, for Sheriff of Palm Beach County.  I ask you and your family to consider your support as well, in both the 2024 Republican primary and the November general election.  

We will continue to provide inexpensive monthly luncheons for our retirees. This year, we will alternate each month between two chosen establishments that are centrally located. We will be holding our annual HR-218 qualifications and barbecue in January with transportation provided if needed.  Email notices will continue to be sent as a reminder. I cannot forget to mention that the Fraternal Order of Police and Aetna are helping deliver on the promise to provide a national health benefits program for retired police officers. I highly encourage retirees to check out more about this benefit by visiting https://www.aetnamedicare.com/fop/en/index.html if you are investigating Medicare Advantage programs. Their future goal is to provide a low-cost, national employee health benefits program that will be available to all law enforcement agencies seeking to reduce the rising costs in health coverage. 

Lodge 50’s charitable organization, The Five-O Foundation, will continue to offer educational scholarships to members’ dependent children and grandchildren.  Members must be active for three or more years to be eligible.  Additional details will be emailed in April.  Monthly member meetings will still be held at the Marriott West Palm Beach, starting with food and refreshment at 6:30 PM on the first Wednesday of each month.  I encourage anyone wishing to become more involved with your lodge to attend these meetings and become familiar with the FOP and labor relations. Each December, Lodge 50 presents our successful annual Children’s Holiday Program, held at the Village of Royal Palm Beach Community Center stage.  The show is financed through support from our business sponsors and boosters and is free to all our members and their family.  Why not add this to your holiday event calendar next year? I guarantee your children and grandchildren will be delighted.  Stay abreast of all Lodge 50 events by downloading our free mobile app by visiting our webpage at www.foplodge50.org 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my “volunteer” Executive Board for the tremendous effort they put in day in and day out to make sure that our members are well looked after. Many of us do not see all the demands placed on our staff, but their work is greatly appreciated. To the National and State FOP Executive Board and to the Florida Labor Council.  I thank them for their dedication to the success of the Fraternal Order of Police and for their tremendous input into the proper governance of our organization. Lastly, to you the members, my sincere appreciation for your support of Lodge 50 and the pride you demonstrate at being members of the nation’s first and largest police labor community. You are the source of the strength of our Lodge. On behalf of my wife, Cindy, and I, we hope this holiday season is a superb and safe one and that the New Year brings you good health, happiness and prosperity.  

Fraternally,

Luis “Lou” Blasco

President


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Fraternal Order of Police Jim Fogleman Lodge # 50, Inc.
P.O. Box 13044
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
  561-899-5050

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