WESTWOOD, N.J. -- With a mix of excitement, nervousness and awe, the widow of a former Bergen County Sheriff's officer who died during a charity basketball tournament this year is preparing to stand at center court at Madison Square Garden during a New York Knicks game Friday night for a tribute on his behalf.
BCSO Lt. Brian Beutel "was one of the biggest Knicks fans ever," Tamiko Beutel of Westwood told Daily Voice. "This would be such a proud moment for him."
Sheriff's officers and family members will lead the Garden cheers as Beutel accepts a Sweetwater Clifton City Spirit Award -- honoring local heroes who have made a significant difference in the lives of others -- during a timeout at the Knicks' game with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The team will also donate $2,000 to Beutel's charity of choice.
Although she was keeping that secret until the ceremony, odds are Beutel will choose the Tomorrow's Childrens Fund.
Her late husband, a father of five daughters -- and one of the department's most popular officers -- joined the BCSO in 2002 after 15 years with state Corrections.
Various North Jersey police agencies were participating in the Battle of the Blue to benefit the Tomorrows Children’s Fund (TCF) at FDU's Rothman Center on March 18 when he collapsed.
Beutel, who'd gone into cardiac arrest, died on the way to Hackensack University Medical Center.
Tributes to his character, integrity, and love for his family, friends and colleagues immediately mounted. The Tomorrows Children’s Fund called Beutel "a true angel.” READ MORE….
Various events fundraisers have aimed to assist the family, including a benefit dinner organized by Bergen County Sheriff's PBA Local 134 that packed the Venetian in Garfield this past July.
The Knicks award is named for Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, the Knickerbockers' first African-American player. For more, CLICK HERE.
Tamiko Beutel will have one of her daughters speak during tomorrow night's MSG center court ceremony.
"I'm very excited to see my family and to accept the award for him," said daughter Vanessa Beutel. "I just wish he was here to accept it himself."
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A DAUGHTER WRITES : My father was the most hardworking man I have ever met. His work ethic and diligence inspired me to be the young woman that I am today. READ MORE….
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