HERO was created in 2007 with $10,000 Mayor Bill white raised at the city's 171st birthday bash. White has a keen understanding of how hard municipal employees work, and how - in times of trouble - they make sacrifices to service residents. So he wanted to do something more for those employees who risk their lives every day.

"City employees are all about service to our fellow citizens," White said. "In that spirit, we created HERO. It's about family helping family in a time of need."

Twenty municipal employees have been killed over the past 25 years while providing services for citizens. Their modest pay can make a public servants' untimely death especially difficult for their families financially. HERO is patterned after the long-established 100 Club, whose funding assistance is limited to survivors of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.