Police Foundation: 2017 “Herb & Penny Wender” Scholarship Awardees

CONGRATULATIONS to the two recipients of our “Herb and Penny Wender Scholarships for 2017!

Each year the Foundation awards two $2,500 scholarships to qualified individuals in their pursuit of continuing education.

The selection of the scholarship recipients is made by a Foundation appointed scholarship review committee taking into consideration the applicant’s record of scholastic achievement, record of prior community service and recommendations from instructors, coaches, supervisors or other adults they have worked with. The applicants are also required to submit a one page essay on a topic indicated in the Foundation. This year’s topic was “Describe how you have demonstrated leadership ability both in and out of school.”

Herb WenderThe Foundation Scholarship program is funded by a generous donation from Radian Group, Inc. (NYSE: RDN), a provider of private mortgage insurance, risk management products and real estate services to financial institutions in recognition of their chairman, Mr. Herb Wender. Their chairman has devoted more than 40 years of service to the company. Mr. & Mrs. Wender are residents of Palm Beach Gardens and he recommended the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation as his charity of choice for the company’s donation.

After careful consideration and review of all the applications submitted, two local students were selected to receive the grant money.

  • Sabrina SniderSabrina A. Snider, a resident of the Berwick community, was a 2016 graduate of The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach and is currently attending Palm Beach State College. With her PBSC GPA of 3.75 Sabrina will be starting in the Fall at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Sabrina is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and hopes to earn her Bachelor’s degree at FSU in Business/Insurance Risk Management. In her essay, Sabrina pointed out that “A leader is not someone who controls others or gives orders, but rather is someone who lifts others up with them rather than looking down at them.”

  

  • Nate LeBlancNathaniel J. LeBlanc, is a graduate of the Community Christian Academy in Stuart and will be attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He hopes to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Physics & Engineering. Nate graduated with a 4.0 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society for three years, and served as Vice President of his Student Government Association. In Nate’s essay he says that as a leader he “tries to treat others how he wants to be treated and to be a positive role model and leader, showing a willingness to help others who are struggling.”

In the past five years, the Police Foundation scholarship program has awarded eleven hardworking and dedicated students scholarships that totaled $15,000. It accepts applications from graduating high school seniors and undergraduate college students who are residents of the City of Palm Beach Gardens or are dependents of Palm Beach Gardens Police Department employees.

For more information on the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation’s Scholarship visit www.pbgpf.org/scholarships

Police Foundation: Special Olympics and Law Enforcement – a strong bond!

I recently had the opportunity to represent the Police Foundation at a meeting hosted by the President of Special Olympics North America, Marc Edenzon.   Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are currently some 4.7 million Special Olympians in 170 countries and 35,000 of them are here in Florida with 1,530 throughout Palm Beach County.  Mr. Edenzon is a new resident of Palm Beach Gardens and is looking to help create new, or enhance existing programs being offered here in the northern part of Palm Beach County.

In Palm Beach Gardens, TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is in its 10th season under the umbrella of the PBGYAA (Palm Beach Gardens Youth Athletic Association). The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl with an intellectual or physical disability and currently has 85 participants. They play every Monday night at the Klock Soccer Fields off of Burns Road. The program is geared toward player development rather than to competition.

Other local programs exist or are being formed in various different sports such as golf, flag football, swimming, bocce, bowling and basketball. 

Mr. Edenzon kicked off the meeting with a general overview of Special Olympics and Special Olympics Florida and then talked about the traditional sports and unified sports programs that all start at the local level and eventually lead some athletes to participate in Athlete Leadership and Healthy Athlete programs.  Some athletes even go on to participate in the Special Olympic games.

Participants in the meeting were representatives of various different organizations, many from the field of law enforcement, all of whom had a connection or direct interest in youth with intellectual disabilities whether it be Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or others. The president of the PBGYAA, Tony Badala along with the president of TOPSoccer, Damien Murray also participated in the meeting. 

Edenzon went on to define the steps in creating local programs including recruitment – not only the athletes, but also of a volunteer committee and volunteer coaches and assistants. He spoke briefly about the need to secure equipment, facilities and uniforms.

A lively and informative discussion followed Mr. Edenzon’s presentation and the participants all agreed to reconvene at a later date to help form other sports programs that would kick off in the Fall of 2017.

Individuals who have a specific interest and are willing to volunteer their time and efforts in helping to create and enhance local programs can call the Police Foundation office at (561) 799-4440 for more information.

Subsequent to the meeting (and prior to the publication of this article) there were two law enforcement special events, both focused on raising funds for Special Olympics.

• “Tip-A-Cop at Duffy’s Sports Grill” was held on April 20th at three Palm Beach County Duffy’s including the one on US Highway One and PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens. Dozens of law enforcement personnel from local agencies volunteered their time as “celebrity waiters” and received tips which all go to the Special Olympics program.  This year nearly $10,000 was raised during the one-night, four-hour Duffy’s event! 

• On April 26th, hundreds of law enforcement personnel from throughout Palm Beach County participated in another fund raising event, the County’s “Special Olympics Torch Run®” in Lantana. This is part of the state-wide Torch Run to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Florida. Over 5,000 officers carry the “Flame of Hope” on what is a 1500-mile relay throughout 67 counties in Florida. The run culminates at the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games on May 19th at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista.
 
The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of Special Olympics Florida and is especially proud of the many Palm Beach Gardens police officers, volunteers, civilian employees, and their families and friends who participate in these events.  With the assistance of the Police Foundation, the relationship our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department has with our community is growing stronger than ever. 

For more information on Special Olympics visit specialolympics.org or specialolympicsflorida.org

Police Foundation: Investing in the youth of our community …

While the Police Foundation’s primary mission is to insure that the men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department have the equipment, training and technology they need to keep us safe, we are also focused on community outreach and youth programs.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department’s Explorer Post is a youth program, in part funded by the Police Foundation, and we are very supportive of their efforts to offer the youth of the community an insight into the overall criminal justice system. “Law Enforcement Exploring” offers young adults a personal awareness through training, practical experiences, competition and other community activities. As a competitive group, the Explorers have won numerous awards and trophies all the way up to 1st place in overall competition. It is designed to promote character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism.

The program has served as a platform from which many young adults have launched a successful career with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Several of our Police Explorers have in fact become Police Officers here in Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach County.

As part of their training, our Palm Beach Gardens Police Explorers recently participated in the “2017 Law Enforcement Challenge” held at the Martin County Fairgrounds. Under the close supervision of their Advisors, the Explorers took part in numerous different law enforcement competitive skills events that were judged by experienced Police Officers from within the three participating counties.

The competitive events involved typical scenarios that Police Officers encounter on a regular basis – domestic crisis intervention, building searches, high-risk traffic stops, mock disasters and more. They were also tested on their physical agility, professionalism and maturity.

Ten different Police Explorer Posts from Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie County participated in the challenge and the scoring and results will be announced at the upcoming Annual Explorer Awards Banquet.

In June, members of the Explorer Post will participate in the State competition to be held here in Palm Beach Gardens. They will compete against some thirty posts from across the State of Florida. This competition is hosted by the FBI National Academy and the Florida Association of Police Explorers and is a week-long event. Competition is fierce and taken very seriously by the individual teams. Final scores in some categories are only separated by small percentage points.

Our Police Explorers train throughout the year for these two competitive events. The training combines classroom activities and hands-on practical exercises all aimed at preparing these young adults for eventual entry into the police academy. Their advisors are dedicated, fully sworn Palm Beach Gardens Police Officers who bring a high level of commitment to the process.

The Police Foundation is proud to be a sponsor and supporter of this outstanding youth program and of the young men and women of our community who are contemplating a career in law enforcement or a related field in the criminal justice system.

Remember, it takes a community effort to keep us safe. For more information on the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation or to make a donation, please visit our website at http://www.pbgpf.org/donate or call the Foundation office at 561 799-4440.

Police Foundation: Where do my charitable donations actually go?

This is a question that everyone should be asking of all the non-profit organizations they support. The Police Foundation respects the right of our donors to know how their money is being spent and we are proud to report that we meet or exceed the guidelines set by the Better Business Bureau and other such organizations.

Most rating organizations will tell you that the administrative expenses of non-profits should be less than 33% and that if they are spending more than that on overhead, they are simply not meeting their mission.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation was formed back in 2007 when the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was in full swing. And each year since then the Foundation has kept its administrative expenses at or near 15%. Perhaps better said, some 85 cents of every dollar you donate to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation goes to help us meet our clearly defined mission. Our mission statement is “.… to secure public funding to enhance the safety of our community and the effectiveness of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.” None of the Foundation’s Board members are remunerated in any way and the bulk of the administrative expenses go to fundraising, postage and insurance.

The Foundation seeks to create a safer Palm Beach Gardens by ensuring that our Police Officers have the vital equipment, training and technology they need and that the Agency is able to sponsor youth programs, community outreach and crime prevention programs that promote awareness of public safety issues. While the City budget provides all the necessary resources to fund personnel and operational costs of our Police Department, some new and innovative programs are often either not funded or underfunded. This leaves very little flexibility to develop new and creative programs and to encourage innovation.

The role of the Foundation therefore is not to displace funding for basic law enforcement, or to reduce in any way the responsibility of the City of Palm Beach Gardens to commit the necessary funding for law enforcement services. Rather, as modern law enforcement strategies and techniques become more complex, the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, similar to police departments across the country, has increasing needs in order to stay current with crime fighting strategies and modern technology. The Police Foundation is there to help meet those needs.

Since its formation in 2007 the Foundation has made grants to the Police Department for the purchase of a wide variety of items. Among those are 3-K9 dogs, predictive policing software, SWAT robots, electronic traffic recorders, active shooter kits, protective vests, ballistic shields, crime scene technology, night vision cameras, trauma kits and much, much more. We have also helped fund numerous training courses including classes on excited delirium, drug recognition, crisis intervention, fair and impartial treatment as well as the Citizens Police Academy and the National Night Out Against Crime.

The youth of our city are also the future of our city. Recognizing this, the Foundation supports the Police Explorer program, BallStars basketball camp, the Special Olympics, Suits for Seniors, Children’s Oasis International as well as our own “Herb and Penny Wender Scholarship Program” and the annual September 11th Essay Contest.

Overall, the Police Foundation has provided grants in excess of $603,000 through the generosity and support of those who live, learn, work and play in the City of Palm Beach Gardens. We know that our supporters trust us to use the funds they give us wisely. We are committed to fulfilling that trust and to providing you with updates on how your support is helping to keep our community safe.

Thank you for your tax-deductible contribution!

The Police Foundation website is at www.pbgpf.org

Police Foundation: Focus on Education

As frequent readers of this column know, the main mission of the Police Foundation is to help insure that the men and women of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department have the tools they need to keep us safe. We refer often to the Equipment, Training and Technology needs of the police department.

There are other areas that the Foundation focuses on as well. These are community outreach programs aimed at helping to keep our City a safe place to live, learn, work, and play.

Our scholarship fund is one of those community outreach programs focused on education. Each year for the past 5 years the Foundation has offered two or more scholarships to help lessen the financial burden of those pursuing a higher education degree. The program is open to dependents of all families residing in the City of Palm Beach Gardens as well as to the dependents of current employees of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.

In February, we were pleased to announce that we had received a $15,000 contribution through a local resident and that those funds were designated for the sole purpose of supporting our scholarship program. To recognize his 40 years of outstanding service to the company, the Radian Group (NYSE: RDN), a private mortgage insurance, risk management and real estate services company asked their chairman, Mr. Herb Wender, to name his charity of choice. Mr. Wender, a resident of Palm Beach Gardens, selected the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation Scholarship Fund.

Commenting on the donation, S.A. Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer of Radian Group said “… we look forward to building on the Foundation’s success and helping to lessen the financial burden of higher education for more Palm Beach Gardens families.”

Details on the Foundation’s “Herb and Penny Wender Scholarship Fund” can be found at www.pbgpf.org/scholarships.

The Foundation’s tuition reimbursement fund is another community outreach program focused on education. Studies have shown that police officers with experience in psychology, sociology and other college-taught disciplines are often more adept to addressing the issues they face on a daily basis and make better decisions when dealing with confrontations. They demonstrate better overall job performance and have greater advancement opportunities than their colleagues without a college degree.

The Foundation’s Tuition Reimbursement Program was established in 2015 to reimburse the education expenses of those Palm Beach Gardens Police Officers interested in obtaining a college degree from an accredited higher education institution.

Again, in February, we were pleased to announce that we had received a $10,000 contribution from a local resident who chose to remain anonymous. Those funds were designated for the sole purpose of supporting our tuition reimbursement program and will allow the Foundation to extend its support into the coming years.

The Foundation believes that by police officers continuing their education they make themselves a current and relevant asset to both the agency and to the residents of the City of Palm Beach Gardens.

Details on the Foundation’s tuition reimbursement program can be found at www.pbgpf.org/reimburse.

The Police Foundation website is at www.pbgpf.org

Police Foundation: Community Safety Campaign

As our 2016 Community Safety Campaign nears its end, the Foundation expresses its sincere thanks and appreciation to the many residents and businesses who have so generously contributed and are helping us to keep Palm Beach Gardens safe.

Donations made to the Foundation allow us to help ensure that our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department is one of the best trained, up to date and well equipped law enforcement agencies in South Florida.

We will soon be sending out our Annual Report to our many donors. Others wishing a copy can email us at 2016AR@pbgpf.org and we will be happy to send you a copy.

Donations received in the current campaign will again allow us to make grants to the police department for the Equipment, Training and Technology needs of the men and women who work so hard to protect us and keep us safe on a daily basis. These donations also allow us to fully fund our newly established Tuition Reimbursement Program that assists Officers wanting to complete their college education, enhance their skills and advance their career opportunities.

Our Scholarship Program, open to local high school students moving on to college, is part of our Community Outreach effort and helps to steer young adults toward promising careers in law enforcement, legal, and other professional pursuits.

This year’s Campaign included a new option for donors, our Champions Group. Members of this special group are forward-thinking supporters who donate monthly to help ensure Community Safety. Their monthly gift helps provide long-term solutions and allows us to plan ahead and strengthen our work within the community. It also allows us to reduce our mailing costs and be more environmentally friendly. Champion group members get the deep satisfaction of knowing their gift is making a difference in Community Safety. Champions receive an end-of-year tax-receipt making it easier for them to claim their deduction. For more information on the Champions Monthly Giving Program please visit pbgpf.org/givemonthly

Palm Beach Gardens is becoming more of a regional center with its multiple shopping venues, universities, corporate offices, restaurants and sports offerings. As a result, our Police Department needs to continue to be the absolute finest. Through the support of the City and generous donations from our residents and business establishments we are helping to ensure that Palm Beach Gardens is a safe place to Live, Learn, Work and Play.

The Honda Classic
As we go to press with this issue, the Honda Classic is only a little over a week away. Once again, the tournament will be held at the PGA National Resort and Spa here in Palm Beach Gardens between February 20-26, 2017. The men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department are ready to ensure the safety of not only the 200,000+ spectators who are forecasted to attend over the duration of the event, but also the players, vendors, staff and all those who make this annual event such a spectacular draw to the City of Palm Beach Gardens. It’s a massive undertaking but our Police Officers are ready and looking forward to the event. The Police Foundation is one of the many non-profit organizations that take part in the event and we too are looking forward to a very successful 2017 Honda Classic Tournament.
For more information on the Police Foundation or to contribute to our current campaign please visit pbgpf.org

Police Foundation: Reflecting on Our Quality of Life

As we begin the New Year, and the Police Foundation begins its 10th year, we look back on the quality of life that we enjoy here in Palm Beach Gardens. We have a very professional and highly trained Law Enforcement agency that is dedicated to serving the residents, business owners, students, employees and visitors to our City. The men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department provide us with the same level of commitment that they would want a member of their own family to receive, if they were in need of police assistance. They provide us a secure atmosphere conducive to our daily lifestyles and proactively build and strengthen the community partnership. We are very fortunate.

The Police Foundation is engaged in an effort to leverage private resources to fund high-priority needs of our Police Officers. We are extremely pleased by the support that we have received over the years from our residents and businesses… and proud of the grants that the Police Foundation has been able to provide to our men and women in blue.

Looking back over the past few years, the Foundation has made a significant number of grants, amounting to over half a million dollars.

Most of the grants that the Foundation has made to the Police Department are for specific items of Equipment, Training or Technology. This has ranged over the years from advanced technology software to K9-dogs, to ballistic vests, to Israeli bandages and tourniquet kits and much more. We also allocated funds for a body worn camera study – and the department instituted their full agency-wide implementation in 2016.

We have also made grants to allow the Department to support crime prevention programs, youth and community outreach programs as well as senior programs.

In 2016 the Foundation continued that focus and once again funded a Police K-9 dog, less-lethal weapons, training for SWAT medics, drunk driving simulators, covert cameras and ballistic vests. Your funds also helped send officers to drug recognition courses, provided for specialized tools to allow officers to unlock vehicles as well as meters to measure the temperature inside vehicles to demonstrate to the public the dangers of leaving children and animals inside. We also supplemented city funds for the purchase of a robotic device used by the SWAT team when dealing with barricaded subjects.

In the area of community outreach, youth and seniors, the Foundation provided scholarships to local college-bound students, an essay contest focused on not forgetting the horrible events of September 11th, and a Youth Basketball Camp for underprivileged youth. We supported a local program entitled Suits for Seniors which encourages high school seniors to develop a better self-image and helps them decide on a career path. The Foundation was also the primary sponsor for the Annual Police and Fire Joy Drive as well as the Gardens Cup Golf Tournament.

This year also saw the establishment of a Foundation funded Tuition Reimbursement Program which sees police officers being reimbursed for their studies leading to a college degree if they maintain high level grades at an accredited higher education institution. The Foundation and the Department believe that this program will be beneficial not only to those officers who elect to improve their job performance and increase their skills through education but also to the overall operations of the Police Department as well as the City of Palm Beach Gardens.
As we begin the New Year, the Police Foundation is preparing to embark on grants for new programs, new projects, new equipment and new technology for our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.

The Foundation’s 2016 Community Safety Campaign is currently under way and we are hoping to raise $50,000 to support these very important grants. I encourage our residents and business leaders to make a generous tax-deductible contribution as an Investment in a Safe Community. You can donate online at pbgpf.org/donate

Thank you for your support.

Police Foundation – Annual Campaign

Each year at this time your Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation joins thousands of other non-profit organizations across the USA in encouraging residents and business owners to open this year’s holiday season on a philanthropic note.

annual-eAnd this year, perhaps more so than ever before, our law enforcement professionals need to know that they have our support. In these difficult times, our officers need to have a heightened sense of awareness and to stay current with techniques, strategies and innovative technologies.

The men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department have sworn to give their lives serving and protecting all people in the community where we live and work. And while the mission is simple – to serve and protect – their work is hard. In addition to the sheer physical demands of the job, they must be open to embrace a diverse community, champion public safety, prevent crime and help maintain Community Safety.
Your Police Foundation’s Annual Campaign began on #GivingTuesday and will continue into the new year. Funds raised through the campaign will allow the Foundation to invest in Equipment, Training and Technology, Officer Safety, Innovations in Policing as well as Community and Youth Outreach Programs that would not otherwise be available through the City budget process.

When you receive the Police Foundation’s campaign letter, I urge you to return it with a generous tax-deductible donation so that we may continue to ensure that our Palm Beach Gardens Police officers and Crime Scene personnel have the tools they need to keep Palm Beach Gardens safe.

You can also donate easily and quickly by going to our website at 2016campaign.pbgpf.org/

joyslugThe 14th Annual Police and Fire Joy Drive, sponsored by the Police Foundation, is under way. Toys and gifts are being collected at numerous locations throughout the City and brought back to the City’s Emergency Operations Center by Police volunteers. There, our off-duty Police and Fire personnel along with other City employees, local residents, business personnel and City government officials are busy wrapping them and getting them sorted into various categories for delivery on December 24th.

Last year the Joy Drive reached nearly 1,500 children and families and we expect to reach even more this holiday season. If you have a new, unwrapped gift that you’d like to donate to the Police and Fire Joy Drive, it can be dropped off at any of the following locations throughout Palm Beach Gardens:

• Police Headquarters and City Hall – 10500 N Military Trail
• Burns Road Community Center – 4404 Burns Road
• Riverside Youth Enrichment Center – 10170 Riverside Drive
• Velocity Credit Union – 2801 PGA Boulevard
• The West Insurance Agency – 5602 PGA Boulevard
• Peterson & Young Goldsmiths – 10929 N Military Trail
• Learning Express – 10941 N Military Trail
• St. Mark’s Church – 3395 Burns Road
• Eisenhower, Gardens, Allamanda or Timber Trace Elementary School
• Any Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Station

If you are having a holiday event, why not ask your invited guests to bring a new, unwrapped gift for the Joy Drive? You can then call the Joy Drive coordinator at 799-4488 to arrange a bulk pickup from your home or office.

More details on the Police and Fire Joy Drive are available at www.pbgpf.org/joydrive/

Happy and Safe Holidays to you and yours from all of us at your Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation!

Congratulations Major Jack Schnur!

jack-schnurMany of our PGA Residents have had an occasion to work with Major Jack Schnur.  For a few it may have been an unfortunate situation involving a burglary, theft, vehicle accident or some other law enforcement action.

But many others, during his 33 years with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, have had more pleasant and happy occasions to work with Jack.

As the year turns over into 2017 we are happy to report that Jack has retired from the City of Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and will take up a new position as Security Director for The Gardens Mall.

During his years with the Police Department, Jack has worked as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Detective, Road Patrol Sergeant, Crime Prevention Sergeant, and Commander of Investigations. His most recent assignment was as the Major overseeing the Special Operations Bureau. His collateral duties included Hostage Negotiations Team Commander, Crime Prevention Practitioner, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Practitioner. Jack was also an Ex-Officio Member/Advisor to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation.

Jack holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Palm Beach State College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Administration from Barry University.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy’s Florida Executive Development Seminar, Nova Southeastern University/Broward Sheriff’s Office Executive Leadership Program and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police.

In his new position as Director of The Gardens Mall Security Department he will supervise the 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year operations designed to keep shoppers, employees, businesses and the Mall itself safe. Gardens Mall Security Officers under Jack’s command are readily accessible and maintain a high level of visibility through all interior and exterior areas of the property. They partner closely with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department to provide an enjoyable and safe shopping experience.

Jack Schnur is what others have described as a “perfect fit” for The Gardens Mall and we are sure he will do an outstanding job, as he has for 30+ years at our local Police Department, in keeping shoppers safe.

Congratulations Jack, from all your friends at PGA National. We’ll be seeing you ’round the Mall!

Police Foundation – National Night Out & Golf

2016-logoNational Night Out Against Crime unfortunately did not take place in Palm Beach Gardens on October 7th this year due to the approach of an unwelcome visitor known as Hurricane Matthew.
While our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, with the support of United Technologies who was the Principal Sponsor, was all prepared and set to kick off our ninth annual award winning event, the approach of dangerous category 4 Hurricane Matthew meant that the event had to be canceled.

The event was to include demonstrations by our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue, and numerous other public safety agencies, including the arrival of Trauma Hawk, Palm Beach County’s aero-medical evacuation helicopter.

While this event was designed to be a family fun night-out to strengthen the Police-Community Partnership and send a message to criminals that our community is united against crime, our Police and Fire personnel were instead preparing for and then cleaning up after the near miss of this year’s only powerful hurricane. We hope the community will join us next year for National Night Out, and for the many other community outreach programs planned for the coming months.

edited_20161015_100432_hdrThe Superhero Breakfast at Brio in The Gardens Mall however did go off as planned on October 15th and the Police Foundation was pleased to have been asked to help support this super special event. Hundreds of kids of all ages were super excited as 7 Superheroes including Batman, Captain America, Iron Man and Superman all arrived on a Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Ladder Truck escorted by the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department. After visiting with the Superheroes, the kids, many of whom were dressed in their favorite superhero outfits, along with their parents and grandparents, had a power packed scrumptious breakfast and got their photos signed by the Superheroes. Community affairs such as this are what make Palm Beach Gardens such a fantastic city.

lrpb-logo-h-blkThe next event was our Annual Foundation Golf Tournament sponsored by Land Rover Palm Beach. Some 250 golfers of all levels registered to play on October 29th on both the Champion Course and the Fazio Course at the PGA Resort and Spa. Registration included a pre-event reception at Brio in the Gardens Mall, a delicious breakfast before play and a huge buffet lunch after finishing the 18-hole competition. Golfers also received a well packed gift bag compliments of United Technologies. The tournament supports our Palm Beach Gardens Police Explorer program, the BallStars Youth Basketball Camp and other youth programs.

With no activities planned for November, the Foundation wishes all of our residents and businesses an enjoyable and Happy Thanksgiving, and reminds you that our Annual Police and Fire Holiday Joy Drive will kick off in the first week of December. This program collects toys and gifts for those less fortunate, those struggling financially, and those who are truly in need of a happy holiday season. Last year some 1500+ items were collected, wrapped by volunteers, and distributed throughout the city and our schools. We will soon be listing those locations where unwrapped gifts can be dropped off, and the dates when volunteers are needed for the huge gift wrapping operation.

While the Foundation’s main mission is ensuring that our Police Officers have the Equipment, Training and Technology they need to keep us and themselves safe, Community Outreach is also a major part of our mission and vision. Our Annual Campaign kicks off on December 1st. Please help us keep Palm Beach Gardens safe with your generous donation. Remember, “It takes a Community Effort to keep us safe.”