Wright County Record logo and header

“Bark in the Park” event held in Mansfield


Food, fun and friendship were all included at “Bark in the Park” on Saturday, April 8 at the Mansfield Square.

It was a fundraiser that was held to benefit the Mansfield K-9 Unit.

There were several vendors and a parade involving first responders from Wright County and other counties.

The money raised will help cover the cost of things like food, vet bills and a bite sleeve for the four legged officers.

Anything over the amount needed was going to help the Justin Sanders and Michael Bryson families.

Both were in a vehicle struck by a drunk driver one week earlier that saw Sanders lose his life and Bryson suffer serious injuries.

Mansfield Police Chief Tim Stuart, in taking about fallen firefighter Justin Sanders, he said, “He was always trying to help somebody.”

There was a chair in the silent auction that was donated by Justin Sanders before the tragedy on April 1. Chief Stuart recalled how last year on the night before this fundraiser, Justin went and bought pizza for everyone as they prepared for the event. So, in his honor, Officer Stuart bought pizza for everyone this year, while they were setting up on Friday night.

A scholarship has been set up in Sanders’ honor.

It’s the Justin “Biscuit” Sanders Scholarship Fund.

Anyone can donate. It is for any Mansfield graduate that plans to hold a career in the emergency service field.

The Mansfield counselor has applications.

One day earlier, Officer Bryson was discharged from Cox South Hospital in Springfield and returned to Mansfield with a police escort. He attended the “Bark in the Park” event.