AboutUs.png

Lake County Blue Coats Inc. Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow helping First Responders & Their Families.

Present

The Lake County Blue Coats, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) that recognizes the enormous contribution to our community made by police and corrections officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and emergency dispatchers. Our mission is to provide assistance to the families of first responders in the event of a line of duty death. We also recognize, on an annual basis, extraordinary acts of valor by first responders through the Jorge Medina Distinguished Service Award, and we award the Ronald J. Taddeo Memorial  Scholarship to children of members of our safety forces that are headed to college.

We encourage all citizens in Lake County, Ohio to become members and assist us to support those who protect us everyday and sacrifice themselves in many ways. We also offer a reduced rate membership to those who serve  and are employed by a governmental agency within Lake County to become members in support of your brothers and sisters. 

Our History 

In 1966, Willoughby thoracic surgeon, Dr. Jorge Medina, assembled a group of civic-minded Lake County citizens for the purpose of establishing an organization that would be supportive of the county’s safety service members and their families.  Dr. Medina’s efforts culminated in the incorporation of Lake County Blue Coats, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, on July 15, 1966.
The initial and main purpose of Lake County Blue Coats, Inc. was to offer financial assistance to the families of safety service members who had lost their lives in the line of duty.  At the time of our creation, we were becoming part of a larger movement started in 1950 by Detroit auto dealer William Packer who conceived of the idea and prototype of a service organization that would help these families survive.  Mr. Packer named his organization, “The 100 Club” because the original membership included 100 private citizens willing to contribute to an ongoing rescue fund that could be utilized quickly when needed.  The 100 Club idea rapidly caught on and spread across the U.S. with the establishment of over 120 such organizations, 8 of which are in Ohio.
Lake County Blue Coats, Inc. was patterned after Bluecoats, Inc. of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County which was created in 1956. While throughout the country, these organizations have adopted a variety of names, all have similar goals and provide financial assistance for surviving families, educational programs, and valor awards. 
In 1968, Lake County Blue Coats, Inc. began awarding Distinguished Service Awards to honor the men and women of the county’s safety forces whose courageous actions and often lifesaving performances exceed the call of duty.  In 1989 this award was renamed, “The Jorge Medina Distinguished Service Award” in honor of the founder of our organization.  To date the list of recipients of this award numbers 118.
Since 1981, Lake County Blue Coats, Inc. has also offered educational scholarships for the children of our safety force members. In 2020, these scholarships were renamed the Dr. Ronald J. Taddeo Memorial Scholarships in honor of Dr. Taddeo and his 30 years of leadership as President of our organization. In addition to serving as President, he was also a dedicated member of our scholarship committee and spent hours carefully reviewing the applications. He was always impressed by the applicants and always wished we could award more of them. His passion and dedication are what led the board to rename the scholarship in his honor. Presently, we offer six $2000 scholarship awards per year.
For over 55 years, Lake County Blue Coats, Inc. has proudly supported Lake County’s safety service personnel.  We will continue to encourage support of our county’s safety forces and their families.  We are always seeking new members who believe in and support these endeavors

Future / Tomorrow

We are working hard to increase the number of members we have in our organization so that we can grow to assist many more safety professionals in Lake County, Ohio.