Police Chief, Tim Hagel, from Thousand Oaks, California has canceled a charity event that was set up in honor of Sgt. Ron Helus – a police officer killed during a mass shooting in the line of duty.
Allegedly, it was all because Republicans were invited to the event.
The “Blue Bowl” is a fundraiser for the family of Sgt. Ron Helus, an officer killed in a 2018 mass shooting. But Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel decided it wasn’t a go after learning that Republicans had been invited.
“He basically said over and over in the conversation, ‘This is not Trump country, that slogan ‘Make America Great’ is not favorable, popular, within 1,200 square miles,’ that we don’t want Republicans here. I could not believe it,” Mike Randall, vice president of the Fallen Officers Foundation
“I could not believe it” Randall added, going on to say that Hagel also said,
“The only thing, and I quote, ‘the only thing you could have done to make this worse was to invite Dick Cheney and Sarah Huckabee Sanders'”
Fox LA has more details on why the charity event was cancelled:
A charity flag football event in honor of fallen Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus, the deputy killed in the Borderline mass shooting in 2018, has been put on hold after organizers say a local police chief and a Democratic politician derailed it because they didn’t want Republicans at the event.
Jerseys with Sgt. Helus’ name were donated by the L.A. Rams and footballs with his image were ready to be signed by Rams players. Sgt. Helus’ wife had already met with organizers and supported the event.
The Blue Bowl was supposed to happen at Newbury Park High School on Sunday. Thousands of dollars had already been raised for Sgt. Helus’ family, but now all that money is being returned to donors after organizers say Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel convinced organizations to pull out of the event.
Mike Randall, Vice President of the Fallen Officers Foundation, which organizes the Blue Bowl, says things started going south when he allegedly got a text from Hagel saying there were serious issues with the event, specifically that the speakers would cause local political issues.
The Blue Bowl speaker list was bipartisan. It included Gov. Gavin Newsom’s public safety liason, Trump supporter Scott Baio, who went to the same church as Sgt. Helus, as well as Trump-supporting singer Joy Villa, who was to sing the national anthem.
Randall says in a phone call, Hagel questioned why the Trump supporters were invited.
“He basically said over and over in the conversation this is not Trump country, that slogan ‘Make America Great’ is not favorable, popular, within 1,200 square miles, that we don’t want Republicans here, I could not believe it… We were totally floored by this comment, ‘the only thing,’ and I quote, ‘the only thing you coulda made this worse, Mike, was to invite dick Cheney and Sarah Huckabee Sanders,’ and I went…wow are you kidding me?” Randall said.
Randall told FOX 11 that Hagel also said he was contacted by Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin who was allegedly upset that her previous election opponent local Republican attorney Ronda Kennedy had been invited.
Randall says Hagel told him to get rid of the Republican speakers or else he would tell the Venturas County Sheriff’s Department and local politicians to pull out of the Blue Bowl. When he refused, he allegedly received a text from Hagel saying that after speaking with the Sheriff, they were respectfully pulling out, then, confirmed the decision in a phone call.
“He goes ‘yeah this ain’t gonna work for us,’ I said you’re not gonna support this with the honor guard and he goes ‘no we’re not bringing the honor guard we’re not coming we’re not going to be there, not supporting it’,” said Randall.
Randall said that caused sponsors and politicians to drop out. The Blue Bowl is now postponed indefinitely.
When FOX 11 reached out to the Thousand Oaks Police Department to get a comment from Hagel, we were referred to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Bill Ayub provided the following statement:
The “Blue Bowl” event was represented as a charitable flag football tournament to raise funds for the family of Sergeant Ron Helus. An event that would honor Ron’s memory and provide support to his wife Karen and son Jordan. As the event began to materialize, we became concerned with the behavior of some of the organizers of the event. Although I believe the organizers had good intentions, the event was moving in a direction we no longer felt comfortable supporting.The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has worked with hundreds of organizations, businesses and individuals over the last year to organize and plan successful fundraisers for the Helus family. To date, every event was successful and lifelong relationships were established. I’m deeply saddened this event did not work out.