Those who know him say he's "Larger than life." EPD Juvenile Detective Patrick Phernetton is well known around the Tri-State for his charity work. But what you might not know about Patrick is the inspiration behind what he does.
Patrick has a 17 year old daughter, Mickey, who has Prader-Willi syndrome. "To simplify it, she's missing a chemical in her brain that makes her feel full- so she's hungry 24 hours a day, 2 days a week. Folks with this syndrome left unsupervised would basically eat until they die."
Patrick wants Mickey to be able to have some independence, so he started fundraising for a special home for people with Prader-Willie to be built in Evansville. "There's nothing more frightening as a parent than to not know what's going to happen to your kids after you're gone."
What started as a few "Concerts for Mickey" evolved into a yearly competition between policemen and firefighters, Guns n' Hoses, and then into a nonprofit foundation called "911 Gives Hope," comprised of firefighters, police officers, and paramedics.
Over the past six years, Patrick has helped raise half a million dollars for those with disabilities. But Patrick says the true heroes are those they seek to help. "People call us heroes- and well by definition, we've done some heroic things over the years. But that's our job, that's what we chose to do. So people like Mickey and kids with disabilities, they didn't choose that."
One day, Mickey will have a dream house built for her by her hero. "If it kills me, if it kills us, we'll built that group home." And so we salute Detective Patrick Phernetton, serving his community Behind the Badge.