'Beer and Brats for Cops' raises money for Police Unity Tour

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LAKE OZARK - Community members gathered Saturday to raise money for the Police Unity Tour. 

Every year, police officers from around the country take part in the Police Unity Tour, a bike race from Washington D.C. to New Jersey. Each officer rides in honor of one or more fallen officers to support the national police memorial in Washington. 
Sharon and Steve Yoder organized the 'Beer and Brats for Cops' event to raise money for their son, Kirt, an officer from Leawood, Kansas, to ride in honor of fallen Missouri officers. 
Kirt Yoder said he starting riding in the race six years ago as a way to show appreciation for his colleagues. He said this year's race has a new meaning. 
"Now I'm unfortunately riding for friends of my own who are now on the [police memorial] wall and and that's tough," Yoder said. "But showing their families and continue to support 'em. It means the world to me."
Aside from beer and brats, Saturday's event featured raffles, a silent auction and a live auction. All proceeds went toward expenses for Kirt Yoder and one other officer travel to the race in Washington next May. 
Kirt Yoder's mother, Sharon Yoder, said this was their first year to hold the event at the Lake of the Ozarks. She said she could not have been more pleased with the support offered from the community. 
"The Lake of the Ozarks is an amazing community," Sharon Yoder said. "It's a very close-knit group, a very supportive group. The vendors and local merchants have been very generous in what they've donated for the auction."
Yoder said they plan to hold the event again next year.