Nonprofit plans retreat for first responders, support needed

Nonprofit plans retreat for first responders

Nonprofit plans retreat for first responders

If the renderings become reality, then plans for a first responder retreat in Minnesota’s cabin country will serve its purpose.

The nonprofit Heroes Helping Heroes (H3) is behind the effort, saying their ‘H3 Retreat’ will be a place where first responders and their families can find “solace, support, and camaraderie amidst the serenity of nature.”

Founder and president of H3, Chris Steward – who is a retired Minneapolis police officer – says he’s had the idea since he started the organization three years ago.

“Our first responders, members of our community, our military, need us more now than ever,” Steward said.

Steward adds the recent killings of three Burnsville first responders is sparking motivation to reach this goal, sharing plans with the public this week.

“It’s getting them away from their profession and allowing them to cope with it and keeping them in the right state of mind so they can continue to do a profession that they love,” he added.

From grand entrances for a warm welcome, large campfire areas and great rooms for bonding to a memorial for fallen first responders, the ideas and renderings are lofty but Steward feels confident they can reach their goals.

Blue Line Construction & Home Services

Leading the way with the building and construction is Blue Line Construction & Home Services. Chief Operating Officer Dan Anderson – also a retired Minneapolis police officer – says he and Steward worked on the force at the same time.

“When Chris [Steward] asked me to be a part of this, I don’t even know how to put into words man, [it] was a dream come true,” Anderson said.

Steward and Anderson say another part of this will be opportunities for Twin Cities youth to visit and help strengthen and rebuild trust with law enforcement.

Fundraising is underway, with a goal of reaching $5 million. Anyone wishing to donate can do so through this GoFundMe, and Steward also said people can donate time and materials by reaching out directly.