The Lakeland Police Foundation (Foundation) is ecstatic, and remains a little stunned, to have very recently received a donation from a single donor of approximately $1 million. We intend to honor the wishes of the donor to not publicly broadcast identification information and to honor the donor’s direction that the dollars be used to cover all the Foundation costs required to now construct and maintain the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. The donor has also directed that the balance of the donated dollars be used by the Foundation for the other specified, non-profit purposes for which it was created; including the funding of eligible students who wish to become police officers and to enter and complete the police academy.
We owe a very important duty to report this amazing development to all those persons and businesses now considering, or who will yet consider, donating to the Foundation while directing that the funds, labor and/or materials donated be used exclusively for the construction or maintenance of the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. This duty also extends to those City of Lakeland employees who, via payroll deduction, are now making donations to the Foundation for the specific purpose of the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. The Foundation hastens to underscore, however, that it fully intends to enjoy a perpetual existence to serve not only current members, but past and future members of the extended “family” of the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) through the police memorial park, but also in other manners for which we were created. Providing for the continuity of the Foundation will support and strengthen the services the LPD “family” provides to our community for many, many years to come.
Among the purposes specified by the Foundation in achieving its status as an IRS- designated non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization, “near and dear” to our hearts, is that we want to “be there” for past, present and future members of the LPD “family” in their darkest hours. Those occurrences, when, through no fault of their own, they have suffered the worst losses, injuries and hardships and “need a helping hand” to get them through. And, on the brighter side, to provide grants to those LPD “family” members who have demonstrated both financial need to achieve worthy educational goals and the aptitude to achieve them.
For the reasons stated, the Foundation will continue to solicit donations from caring persons and organizations, and to endeavor to raise funds with the goal of never having to tell a worthy LPD “family” member applying for reasonable assistance from the Foundation that we don’t have the funds. We ask that you please consider us in your future, charitable plans.
Further, the Foundation wishes to publicly acknowledge and express its heartfelt gratitude for all donors who have provided funds for the construction and maintenance of our “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. And we would be remiss to not also communicate our debt of gratitude for the approximate 1,000 people who have registered for our first inaugural 5K run, thereby providing additional funding to the Foundation for the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. Your generosity has “warmed our hearts,” and we will forever be grateful to you. We sincerely hope that you will, in the not-too-distant future, be able to visit the completed “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park and know, in your heart, that you have helped to bring this perpetual and public expression of the honor we bestow on police “fallen heroes” into being.