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November 2012 Check Presentation

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Safety. Security. Protection. These are feelings we all long for – they are fundamental needs that are shared by all of humanity and are at the heart of community. They wrap themselves around us like a warm blanket, allowing us to experience the peace of mind essential for our neighborhoods, homes, businesses, and most importantly, our families to flourish and reach their full potential. And it’s our law enforcement officers who provide this priceless feeling of comfort, knowing that we can relax and truly call our community “home.”

The Lakeland Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association, a group of community-oriented citizens who have devoted 13 weeks to learning about how the Lakeland Police department operates and the challenges police officers face every day, have provided another feeling of security – for students who are working hard to attain their dreams of a career in law enforcement, and who need financial assistance to achieve this goal.

With its generous donation of $11,250 to the Polk State College Foundation over the past two years, the Alumni Association has helped to provide scholarships for aspiring law enforcement professionals studying at Polk State College’s Kenneth C. Thompson Institute of Public Safety, enabling the dreams of many students to be fulfilled and enhancing our community in immeasurable ways.

 The Alumni Association has had a long history of philanthropy in the community, and constantly aspires to build upon its previous successes. For many years it has run a K9 sponsorship program, raising funds to help the police department obtain its essential four-legged officers. Then in 2010, its members decided to make an even bigger impact on the Lakeland Police Department.

“We wanted to truly make a lasting legacy, and realized we could fulfill that through funding scholarships toPolkState’s Kenneth C. Thompson Institute of Public Safety. We plan to eventually make it an endowed scholarship,” said Steve Jones, scholarship coordinator for the Alumni Association.

“Through the scholarships, we’re helping to develop police officers who will serve our community. It’s such a great feeling to be able to do that,” he added.

The Association has staged two annual events — its Honoring Heroes dinner in September and its Chalk for Charity Festival in February — to benefit scholarships for those studying at Polk State’s Kenneth C. Thompson Institute of Public Safety.

“Not only are we helping young people who are embarking on a career in law enforcement, but also those who are changing career paths. Many of them are married with children, and the scholarships really are vital to completing their education,” said Jones.

“Our long-term goal is to someday provide scholarships for sons and daughters of police officers who are going through school. We’re very excited about that possibility,” he said.

In a check presentation ceremony on November 26, 2012 at the District Board of Trustees meeting on theLakelandcampus, the Polk State College Foundation gratefully honored The Lakeland Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association for its generous donation and dedication to Polk State College. On hand to accept the honor were Jones and fellow Alumni Association members Michael Matlick, Shirley Mobley, Gary and Mickey Brown, Bill and Karen Uhrie, Veronica Rountree, and Dick Fearnow.

“On behalf of the Polk State College District Board of Trustees, the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, and our future law enforcement officers attending Polk, I thank you wholeheartedly for your philanthropy that makes a meaningful difference in our community,” said Anu Saxena, development chair of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors.

Pictured left to right: Anu Saxena, Veronica Rountree, Dick Fearnow, Karen Scites, Gary Brown, Mickie Brown, Michael Matlick, Steve Jones, Bill Uhrie, Dr. Eileen Holden, Mark Turner, Shirley Mobley, Dan Dorrell, Ernie Pinner, Greg Littleton, Teresa Martinez, Linda Pilkington and Rick Garcia.