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15th Annual Swartzlander Basketball Benefit

March 16, 2011

03/17/11 The Bremen Police Department is sponsoring the 15th annual Swartzlander Basketball Benefit Game tonight Thursday, March 17th at 7 p.m. in the Bremen Senior High School Boy’s Gym.

Bremen Police Officers and other local police officers will be playing against the senior players from the boy’s and girl’s 2010/2011 basketball teams.

This year the proceeds will be going to help the Jon and Ali Hershberger family.  On July 14th Jon was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a form of cancer that attacks the salivatory glands.

On August 13th Jon had his first surgery that was unsuccessful.  The cancer was a lot worse than first expected.  On September, 21st Jon went for his second surgery that lasted over 16 hours.  The doctors told Jon and Ali that he will never be cancer free. There is a small spot on the brain stem that the surgeons weren’t able to remove.

If you don’t know Jon, he is a 1987 graduate from Bremen High School.  He has been married to his wife Ali for the past 17 years.  In the last six months Ali has become so much more, his caregiver, support, and his reason to fight this battle with cancer.

Jon coached for numerous children in the community for over the past 17 years and coached all ages from high school football to swarm league soccer.

Although times are tough and funds are low the Bremen Police Department is hoping the community will all pitch in and help make a difference in the lives of the Jon Hershberger family that has been turned upside down in the last six months.

The Swartzlander Benefit is in memory of Bremen Police Officer Toney E. Swartzlander who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, February 22, 1981. A five year veteran of the department Swartzlander was attempting to set up a roadblock to stop two men wanted for armed robbery.  They had been in a pursuit that went through three counties.  The vehicle they were driving struck Patrolman Swartzlander and killed him.  The suspects were caught at the scene where they crashed their car after hitting him.  The suspects were sentenced to prison and released after completing their sentences.