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Side Dish 

Before you pick up that fork, have a thought for the men and women in blue

While eating at Biggie's, I noticed several people wearing sweatshirts saluting the late Officer Robert Stanze of the St. Louis Police Department, and in researching the restaurant, I rediscovered that the slain hero's widow had written a touching account of a meal he'd had at Biggie's. And then, in a horrible parallel, another cop, husband and father fell in the line of duty just a few days after one of our meals.

It served as a stark reminder that reading and writing about restaurants are actually fairly inconsequential and frivolous pastimes, especially compared with folks' putting their lives on the line to keep the rest of us safe.

I gently ask those of you reading this to consider matching whatever you'd pay for this weekend's eating and drinking out with a donation to one or more of the trust funds supporting the officers' families. I'll be donating my fees and expenses for the Biggie's article above.

Donations to the fund for Sgt. Richard Weinhold's children should go to County Credit Union, 130 South Bemiston Ave., Suite 100, Clayton, MO 63105. The address for the trust fund for the family of Officer Robert Stanze is Lindell Bank, P.O. Box 211, St. Louis, MO 63166. To learn additional ways of showing your support for these families and for many other heroic cops and firefighters, call the Backstoppers at 314-230-9898.

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