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SGS student selling ‘Back the Blue’ bracelets for fallen officers

SALYERSVILLE – When a Salyersville Grade School sixth grader heard the news of the Allen police shooting, that killed three officers, one K9 unit, and injured several others, the 12-year-old jumped into gear and started looking for ways to help the families of the fallen officers.

Kolton Risner told the Independent he saw the news coming out of Floyd County, describing it as completely devastating.

“I grew up with my mamaw and papaw both coming from the military and my papaw had been a deputy sheriff here, so I grew up with the ‘protect and serve’ mentality,” Risner said.

“These three officers were just trying to protect their community and have now passed away. That’s devastating to these families, and I just wanted to help.”

At first, Risner said he and his step-dad, Shane Prater, looked at buying flags with the thin blue line to sell as a fundraiser, but they decided “back the blue” bracelets would sell better and be more accessible to the public.

The pair ordered around 300 bracelets online, with Risner setting up on the lot beside of Marathon on Restaurant Row on Monday this week. By Tuesday he was already sold out, with more bracelets ordered.

Risner and Prater have partnered up with Copperhead Guns in Prestonsburg and Pop’s Chevrolet, which have both vowed to donate $10,000 each. Risner said they have already met their initial goal of $1,000, with the goal now set at $2,000.

“Each of these families who lost loved ones will be get quite a bit of money from this,” Risner said.

The SGS student said this is his first experience with fundraising, but it will not be his last.

“A lot of people’s responses are, ‘you’re too young to be doing this,’ but it’s nothing for me,” Risner said. “It’s for these families and I just want to give back to them.”

For now, Risner and Prater will be found sporadically through this week and next on the lot next to Marathon selling the bracelets for $4 each, and they can take orders on Facebook by messaging Kolton Risner or commenting on his original post announcing the sale, and sending payment through PayPal to All profits will go to the families of the fallen officers.

“Those guys put their necks on the line for our communities every day and we need to do our best to help them,” Risner said.


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