The Officer Brad Fox Foundation: Honoring A HeroJon Steiert
In today’s society, we throw the word hero around loosely – like when someone generously brings you that much needed cup of coffee first thing in the morning. You might be inclined to refer to this person as a hero; but using this compliment so often reduces its value and causes us to lose sight of what it actually means.
Few people live up to the moniker of hero in its intended meaning, but Officer Brad Fox certainly makes a strong case.
Brad was a Marine Staff Sergeant who later became a police officer in Plymouth Township – a small suburb of Philadelphia.
Brad not only put his life on the line for his country, but had a personality that captivated everyone he came in contact with. Anyone you talk to who knew Brad speaks of him with such emotion that you can feel the impact he had on their lives.
One of these people is Darren Meehan, a friend of Brad’s and the director of the Officer Brad Fox Foundation.
“I don’t say this about many people,” Darren started, “but Brad was a man of impeccable character; just a genuinely good kid.”
Darren was a bartender at Kenny’s Madison Tavern where Brad and his family were regular. Over the years, he built a relationship with them that felt more like family than friendship.
In 1999, Brad joined the U.S. Marines Corps and would serve two deployments to the Middle East in 2003 and 2005. While Brad was overseas, his family continued to visit “The Madison,” updating Darren every now and then as if he were extended family.
“While Brad was deployed,” Darren began, “I started running these 5Ks and I remember thinking how it’d be really interesting to coordinate something like that, but I didn’t have anything I was really emotionally invested in at the time.”
Darren would eventually find his emotional investment. The inspiration, however, would hit close to home.
After serving 10 years in the Marines, and achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant, Brad was honorably discharged and returned home to Pennsylvania, his family and soon to be wife, Lynsay. He decided to fulfill a life-long dream of his and become a police officer in Plymouth Township, where he also attended K-9 school and was partnered with K-9 officer Nick.
Over the next six years, Brad would proudly protect his community with the same pride and dedication he served our country with. During that time, he and Lynsay welcomed their first child, Kadence into the world.
Six months later, on the eve of Brad’s 35th birthday, officers Brad and Nick would respond to a call, leading them on a vehicle chase followed by a pursuit on foot.
Brad would end up making the ultimate sacrifice that night, leaving behind Kadence, Lynsay and their unborn son. Brad’s death stunned both Montgomery and Bucks counties and his story resonated strongly with the community.
“When Brad was killed,” Darren said somberly, “I kind of thought ‘what can we do to honor him?’ and more specifically to raise money for his kids.”
After talking it over with some friends and family, Darren decided a 5K was the perfect solution, and the community responded in a big way.
“The first year, our goal was to raise money for their kids’ trust fund,” Darren said, “the reaction from the community was so strong, everyone was making these tremendous donations; the outpour of support was amazing.”
The first annual Officer Brad Fox 5K raised $36,000; a “drop in the bucket” with all of the other donations being shared according to Darren.
Going into the second year of the Fox 5K, Lynsay encouraged Darren to look into other opportunities to give back. Darren decided to sit down with Brad’s family and together they picked a handful of charities and causes that they felt Brad would get behind.
“We decided to look into other officers and first responders who were killed in action and their families, and supporting them the same way the community supported Brad and his,” Darren said.
Now in its sixth year, the Brad Fox 5K is widening its scope of impact once again.
This year, on what is now being affectionately referred to as Brad Fox Day in Montgomery and Bucks County, PA, the foundation will add a handful of charities aimed to assist U.S. veterans to their already impressive list of partners. With the addition of a Veteran’s Expo, CrossFit competitions, raffles and other engaging events, the Brad Fox 5K continues to grow and give back to the community the same way Brad so selflessly did during his life.
While the hard work of Darren, Lynsay and the rest of the Brad Fox Foundation have made it possible, the success of this event for so many charities and causes relies heavily on sponsors and other volunteers to continue to expand and reach more people.
This year, Fast Capital 360 is honored to play a small part in helping share Brad’s story and supporting our local police officers and U.S. veterans. We will be sponsoring and participating in the Officer Brad Fox Annual 5K run on April 7th, 2018, and we encourage everybody to join in as well.
The 5K run, or 1K walk, takes place on the Officer Bradley M. Fox Memorial Highway. The township only shuts the busy road down once a year, and that’s on Brad Fox Day.
While everybody might have a different interpretation of what the word hero means to them, few fit the description as well as Officer Brad Fox from Plymouth Township, PA.
So the next time you feel the urge to call someone a hero, even in the over-exaggerated fashion we use it in today; try to remember the importance of saving that word for the real heroes who have put their lives on the line for our protection. Save that word for Officer Brad Fox.
For more details on how to get involved, visit their official website officerbradfox5K.com.
If you’re interested in sponsoring the Officer Brad Fox 5K, either locally or nationally, contact Darren Meehan at [email protected].