BPSO 'In God We Trust Rally' turnout strong in second year - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

BPSO 'In God We Trust Rally' turnout strong in second year

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The second annual In God We Trust Rally at the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office grew in attendance from its inaugural year, and donations continue in support of the sheriff’s refusal to remove religion from his youth programs.

The rally was first held in 2013, created in support of Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington's refusal to remove religion from the youth programs sponsored by the Bossier Sheriff's Office. Both the Young Marines and Youth Diversion programs include the mention of God and voluntary prayer.

$15,000 in federal grant money from the Department of Justice was at stake for each program, but Sheriff Whittington instead opted to find a way for the BPSO to fund them instead.

Donations began to pour in after the standoff over the funding came to light last year. During Friday's rally, Sheriff Whittington showed off a check for $139,000, representing all of the money raised to date from within the community and around the nation. According to BPSO spokesman Lt. Bill Davis, that total includes $32,000 raised by donations made in exchange for t-shirts that were made in support of the sheriff's stand. Davis says another $1,000 was donated by a man attending Friday's rally.

This year’s rally offered hot dogs cooked by firefighters with the Bossier City Fire Department, children's activities, music, the posting of the colors and remarks by state and local representatives. It also featured members of the BPSO's Young Marines program and honored several local World War II veterans.

The In God We Trust Rally is expected to become an annual event.

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