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Above: Jennifer Rubin, 17, of Chesterfield, seated right, along with her sister Paige Rubin, 10, center, and brother Brian Rubin, 10, left, ask people to donate money during Rockin’ 4 Relief outside the Dierbergs on Clarkson Road in Chesterfield on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Jennifer Rubin has run the event since she was 12 years old. The rocking chair-a-thon benefits the BackStoppers. Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle from St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Jennifer Rubin has been involved with Rockin’ 4 Relief since a very young age.

“When I was 10, I went through the D.A.R.E. program and my D.A.R.E. officer was just an incredible person,” Rubin said. “He’s very enthusiastic and he just loved being with us. And so after D.A.R.E. was over, he asked me to volunteer for some different community events with the Chesterfield police department, and I started working with them, I started meeting a lot more officers. I got to work closely with him, and at 12 years old, I just realized that police officers put their bullet-proof vests on every day for a reason and they put their gun on for a reason every day, and it’s like it kind of started to register that it was dangerous, and so I wanted to do something to give back to them because they give to us everyday.”

 


Rockin’ 4 Relief, a non-profit organization that Southeast Missouri State University student Jennifer Rubin started when she was 12, is having it’s annual Rock-A-Thon on Nov. 1.

The money raised by Rockin’ 4 Relief goes to a charity called Backstoppers. It is an organization in the St. Louis area that provides assistance to families of firefighters, police officers and Emergency Medical Services personnel who die in the line of duty.

“Every year we send teenagers out to different Dierbergs locations, which is a grocery chain in St. Louis, and it’s also in Illinois,” Rubin said. “And we send teenagers out and everyone rocks in a rocking chair for 10 hours and they just collect money from the people who walk by. We started in 2009 and over the past five years we’ve raised over $70,000, that’s including the $13,000 donation from Oprah [Winfrey]. The first year we weren’t at the grocery store yet, we rocked at a gym, and quickly realized that no one brings money to a gym. So we raised like $750 and thought it was the coolest thing ever, and then five years later we’ve completely raised a ton more than that. So now we’re up to $70,000.”

Southeast student Peyton Mogley has helped out with Rockin’ 4 Relief for three years now.

“[She started it when she was] like 12. That’s incredible,” Mogley said. “There’s so many locations and every year she’s able to expand. I really think it’s a great project. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever heard of or been a part of because, like, Girl Scouts sell their cookies and Boy Scouts sell their popcorn, but we’re actually going out there and raising awareness for this wonderful organization and this cause. I think it’s awesome.”

Al Spencer, reserve officer with the Cape County Sheriff’s office and adjunct instructor for the Law Enforcement Academy at Southeast and Southeast alumnus, has also helped out for several years now.

“I met Jennifer through D.A.R.E., Drug Awareness Resistance Education, when she was a junior in high school,” Spencer said. “She was our D.A.R.E. youth representative, and I sit on the board as a liaison between the national and state D.A.R.E. and that’s how we, or a few of the officers I should say, got involved with Rockin 4 Relief. What I did, or what I do is last year we went around and we checked on every location. One officer had a group of locations, another officer had a group of locations because I think there was 22 locations last year and we just check up to make sure that they don’t need anything and everything’s running smooth. Last year I took money from one location and transferred it to the main location, stuff like that.”

Rubin has been involved with Rockin’ 4 Relief since a very young age.

“When I was 10, I went through the D.A.R.E. program and my D.A.R.E. officer was just an incredible person,” Rubin said. “He’s very enthusiastic and he just loved being with us. And so after D.A.R.E. was over, he asked me to volunteer for some different community events with the Chesterfield police department, and I started working with them, I started meeting a lot more officers. I got to work closely with him, and at 12 years old, I just realized that police officers put their bullet-proof vests on every day for a reason and they put their gun on for a reason every day, and it’s like it kind of started to register that it was dangerous, and so I wanted to do something to give back to them because they give to us everyday.”

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