BURRILLVILLE – A rally next Saturday will give Burrillville residents the chance to show support for the town’s emergency personnel, with guest speakers, raffles, food and swag proclaiming backing of the blue and red.

The event will take place at the Stillwater Mill Pavilion on Tinkham Lane on Saturday, Oct. 24 starting at 1 p.m. Organized by Councilors Stephen Rawson and Jeremy Bailey, the rally comes in response to calls across the country for defunding of police departments in reaction to racial injustice.

Dubbed Burrillville Backs Our Blue & Red, the rally aims to thank,  honor and recognize the town’s police, fire and rescue first responders.

Guest speakers at the event will include state Emergency Management Services Director Jason Roades, and Harrisville Fire Chief Michael Gingell. Town Council President John Pacheco will read his board’s recently-passed proclamation supporting Burrillville officers.

Rawson noted that organizers will have free flags and stickers to hand out, and lawn signs available for purchase. The double-sided 18 X 24 signs stating “Burrillville Backs Our Blue & Red,” will cost $10, with proceeds to go to the Burrillville Police Department’s annual Christmas toy drive, which provides holiday gifts to local families in need.

“I think with everything going on there’s going to be a lot of need this holiday season,” Rawson said.

Councilor Dennis Anderson will lead participants in a unique version of the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We’re going to do it with a little flair,” Rawson said, noting that Anderson will speak as the late American entertainer Red Skelton.

The Dinolicious food truck will be on hand serving homemade treats and a 50/50 raffle will also see funds donated to the holiday drive. Jerry Leveille of The Live Music Band will lead the group in singing the National Anthem.

Burrillville Police Col. Stephen Lynch will speak to close out the rally.

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