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Giving back: New foundation will support police and fire

By Laura Adelmann, SunThisweek
January 22, 2015

The Lakeville Public Safety Foundation is a new nonprofit dedicated to organizing fundraisers for the Lakeville police and fire departments.
Lakeville Public Safety Foundation established
A Lakeville woman has founded an organization dedicated to those who put their lives on the line to serve others.

Shanen Corlett, who worked with Lakeville police officer Chad Loeffler to raise about $38,000 to replace a retiring K-9 officer in 2009, has established a new nonprofit organization, the Lakeville Public Safety Foundation.

Corlett said the organization will develop fundraisers to provide support and resources for local police and fire departments, such as  public safety programs or events and extra tools that help the departments’ service to the community.

The foundation is kicking off its inaugural year with events that include a police vs. fire paintball game and a police and fire ball to be held on 9/11.

Foundation members will also take over organizing the annual Brigham Strole Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament, held annually in the fall in honor of Strole, a revered K-9 officer with the Lakeville Police Department who died in a 2010 off-duty motorcycle accident.

Until now, Lakeville Police officers themselves had planned and organized the event, which raises funds to provide scholarships for Lakeville high school students in honor of Strole.

“When the Police and Fire departments have some wants for things that aren’t necessarily in the budget through the city, wouldn’t it be great to be able to write a grant to a foundation to be able to get those extras?” Corlett said. “Those things that will make the Police Department and the Fire Department just a little bit better.”

Corlett said the Prior Lake paintball event will be sometime in May and will allow community members to join either the police team or fire team in the paintball battle game.
The public is also invited to purchase tickets to the Police and Firefighter’s Ball, which Corlett said will be amazing.

“We are going to be celebrating everything that the police and the fire departments do for our community,” Corlett said. “At that event, we will be announcing Firefighter of the Year and Police Officer of the Year.

“I just think it’s long overdue. I think it’s something that the community is really going to embrace, being able to take an evening to really truly thank them for everything they do and celebrate alongside them.”

Details and costs have not been determined yet but will be announced in the newspaper and on the organization’s website,

Some items desired by Police Department include defibrillators, thermal imaging cameras and stun guns with video capabilities.

Lakeville firefighters could use a new Sparky (the fire dog) outfit, balloons and coloring books for community fire prevention events, fire extinguishers, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for homes that are found to have no working detectors.
The foundation board includes Corlett, who serves as president, Vice President Kirstin Specht, Stephanie Scherer and Penny Zurn; Matt Manley is expected to be approved to join the board next month.

Lakeville Police Chief Jeff Long and Lakeville Fire Chief Mike Meyer also serve as non-voting members on the board.

“They do attend our meetings so that we know what the needs are out there,” Corlett said.

Several founding sponsors have already joined in to help fund start-up costs of the nonprofit organization and sending out its first newsletter seeking donations.
The founding sponsors each donate $500 and are Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union; Maverick Company, a Lakeville business that helps police technology college students with internships; Jeff Belzer’s Chevrolet; and Great Southern Bank.

Corlett said she is excited about the organization and its ability to support local police and fire services.

“We are not looking to be another line-item for the city of Lakeville,” Corlett said. “We’re not looking to replace everyday things taken care of by the city. We really want to make sure to provide extras that takes them to the next level.”

To help or volunteer, contact Corlett at 612-799-8375.

“We’re really super excited,” Corlett said. “I’m looking forward to being able to look back 30 years from now and having it be a foundation that’s still here and still strong and still helping the public safety of Lakeville.”

Posted by Lonny Olson / Posted on 22 Jan