KPD Employees Pay It Forward
Many members of the Kent Police Department take the duty to serve others beyond their work hours. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the causes that are important to our employees. The following individuals have worked hard volunteering their off duty time and talent to these organizations.
In 2007 Officer Susan Graves passed away after being diagnosed and fighting a brave battle with breast cancer. Each year here at KPD we raise money to donate to a charity in her memory.
Dispatcher Schneider has done much to keep this effort going. With her organizing the charge, we raise around 200 dollars each year for the last 6 years to donate to various causes related to helping cancer patients. Money is raised by selling pink bracelets, baked goods, and civilian employees are encouraged to "Donate to wear Denim" each Friday in October. The money raised has been given to various charities including Susan J. Komen Foundation, Look Good, Feel Good, and The American Cancer Society.
This became even more personal for Dispatcher Schneider in 2008 when she began watching her mother fight a 4 year battle with cancer. Being this close to the front lines helped Rebecca realize the day to day struggles that patients endure and the little things that help to make it more bearable.
After her mother was helped by some local organizations, Rebecca recommended that we donate our money to a local charity that helps cancer patients. She got in touch with her mother's oncologist office and asked how we could help. She found out about a women's support group at Robinson Memorial Hospital that has an annual holiday party. We were happy to donate funds to help off set the cost of this holiday celebration and give to a patient's family in need some financial help through the holidays.
For this year's donation Dispatcher Schneider located a family through the Oncology office of Marquinez. Mubashir & Rehman. They knew of a Robinson employee, Jamie Noe, whose 7 year old daughter, Skylar, who was diagnosed in April of this year with Burkitt's Non-Hodgskins Lymphoma. She had her final round of chemo this past July. We are happy to report that Skylar is currently in remission and cancer free.
Each year we will continue to raise funds and donate them to a cancer related charity in memory of Susan Graves. Thank You Dispatcher Schneider for your hard work in keeping this effort going.
If you have been around KPD at all last month you may have noticed a lot more facial hair than usual. Detective Bureau Sergeant Richard Soika joined a team with Lt. Jim Prusha and Sgt. Nick Shearer and 6 members from other police departments to raise money for The Movember Foundation. While not officially on the team, 8 other members of the Kent Police Dept showed their support by growing their own mustaches and making generous donations.
The MM Warriors registered their team with www.movember.com and started raising money for men's heath. The team of 9 members raised a total of $1358.00. Rich raised $525.00 in memory of his father Richard L. Soika Jr. who fought a long and courageous battle with prostate cancer.
The Movember Foundation's mission is to raise money and awareness for men's health related issues, primarily prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. Great job Sgt. Soika and the MM Warriors. We look forward to supporting this cause again next year.
The following is from the Movember website.
As an official global charity, Movember's vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men's health. During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches on men's faces around the world. Through the power of the Mo, vital funds and awareness are raised to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.
Kent Police Detective Dave Marino and his wife Sarah organized a charity beach volleyball event in July of this year. The event was held at the 11th frame in Kent and included a double elimination tournament and charity raffles. Funds raised were donated to a very special 7 year old boy from Tallmadge, Mark Frick. Mark was diagnosed with leukemia and went through chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
Several Kent Police Department members joined teams that entered in the tournament. Lt. Prusha, Sgt. Lewis, Ptl. Poe, Ptl. Nelson, Ptl. Gaydosh and Det. Marino all competed. Many more members contributed by donating and sponsoring teams. Police officers from other local departments including Stow and Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls also participated.
In the end MAJ Hollywood, a team of Cuyahoga Falls Police Dept members, won first place.
The following businesses showed their support by donating goods, services or gift certificates for prizes. Paninis Bar & Grill, The Sheraton, Handles, Dave's Cosmic Subs, The Office, Pat Catan's, Giant Eagle, Georgio's, Dietz Florist, Mr. Bulky's, Nuova Luce Salon, Franklin Square Deli, Connecting Touch, Fresco Mexican Grill, & Sugar-Luv. Food was generously provided by 16 Kids Deli in Cuyahoga Falls.
The day was a huge success. Approximately $2000.00 was raised which went to purchase a new wheelchair, ramps, and school clothes for Mark.
Putting together a tournament of this size takes a lot of effort and dedication, something Det. Marino was more than happy to do. This event was a way for him to honor his father, Daniel J. Marino, who passed away in 2012 after battling leukemia. They plan to have more events in the future and are establishing a charity in his father's name to raise money for local families that have a family member that has any type of cancer and needs financial help.
KPD Dispatcher Kelli Myers recently collaborated with GATHR Films and several Portage County agencies to bring a powerful documentary "THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE" to Kent.
After seeing part of the film on the internet Kelli felt that it was something that she really wanted to see and that there were others that could benefit from viewing it as well. Kelli set out to see what needed to be done to bring the event to a theater in our area.
Kelli reached out to KPD Juvenile counselor Jeff Langstaff and worked with Amie Cayka at Mental Health and Recovery Board and Valerie Root with CARE Citizens for Addiction and Recovery Education. Through their networking and resources they were able to have several speakers available to present information about Portage County's resources to the audience.
The event pre sold 91 tickets to the viewing at Plaza Theaters and sold many more at the door.
When Kelli was asked why raising awareness for this was important to her she responded. "There are many people in this world who have no idea what goes on with an addict of any sort or the recovery process. There are lots of people in recovery out there and you would be surprised at who they are. It is very easy to become an addict. Pain killers prescribed from a doctor is how quite a few people get hooked. "
Here is a short summary of the film from their website Click here to check out their website.
THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE is a feature documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Deeply entrenched social stigma have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The vacuum has been filled with sensational mass media depictions of people with addiction that perpetuate a lurid fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition. Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, a grass roots social justice movement is emerging. Courageous addiction recovery advocates have come out of the shadows and are organizing to end discrimination and move toward recovery-based solutions.
The moving story of The Anonymous People is told through the faces and voices of citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, public figures, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement aims to transform public opinion, engage communities and elected officials, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting solutions.
Lt. Jim Prussha attended Trunk-or-Treat at Riverwood Community Chapel on Saturday, 10-26-13 The police car trunk was filled with candy for neighborhood kids to trick-or-treat. Jim volunteered to do this, and the police department donated the use of a cruiser for the day. Jim had a good, albeit cold, time. So did the kids. Here are some pictures from the event.
|Sgt. Shearer running Bank of America Chicago Marathon.|
Kent Police Sgt.Nick Shearer recently completed the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13th with the finish time of 4:26:43. That was Nick 's first full marathon. He has previously competed on relay teams for The Akron Marathon and he completed the Akron Half Marathon in 2011.
Nick set a goal to complete a full marathon a little over a year ago because he wanted to challenge himself. He chose to use the opportunity to raise money for a cause he believes in, helping our veterans and their families. The grand total he raised was $880.00 for Salute Inc., an organization that, among other things, helps military families with financial support while their loved ones are deployed.
When asked why he chose this particular charity, Nick stated that he has a deep respect for the military and military families and the sacrifices that they make.
If you get a chance to talk with Sgt Shearer about the race, you will quickly see how enthusiastic he is about the whole experience. He describes the last few tenths of a mile toward the finish line as the best part. Finding time in his busy schedule to train was the most challenging part.
In the future he plans to continue distance running and raising money and awareness for important causes.
Congratulations Sgt. Shearer!!
If you are interested in learning more about Salute Inc. Click here to check out their website.