Record turnout for Red Light Ball |

Record turnout for Red Light Ball

A capacity crowd filled the main exhibit building at the Nevada County Fairgrounds Saturday night to honor three local public safety officers at the 11th annual Red Light Ball.

The yearly Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council event drew its biggest crowd ever – about 575 people – to show support for county police and firefighters.

It equaled last year’s fundraising for fire and police training and equipment with about $20,000, said Bill Drown, council president.

The Red Light Ball is one of two annual fundraisers for the organization, the other being the Guns & Hoses Golf Tournament. The two events have raised an estimated $450,000 to date.

“We’re so thankful to the community for coming out and supporting public safety,” Drown said.

The crowd showed their support to Grass Valley Police Sgt. Joe Matteoni, Nevada County Consolidated firefighter Jeff Johnston and Grass Valley firefighter Gary Dunne.

The three were honored with an award for their actions in pulling two women from a burning apartment building in Grass Valley in August 2009.

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal and Grass Valley Fire Chief Tony Clarabut presented the trio with the Public Safety Commitment Award.

On Tuesday Matteoni, Johnston and Dunne earned medals of valor at a Grass Valley City Council meeting for their actions.

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