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December 17, 2009

Donations Reach Nearly $4,000 for Lakewood PD Guild

The Pacific Lutheran University men's and women's basketball programs presented the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) with checks totaling $3,958.40 to benefit the families of the four Lakewood Police officers slain in Parkland on Nov. 29.

The money was raised through donations, sales of merchandise and concessions at PLU's home men's basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 12, against Northwest University, which donated $500 toward the cause. PLU women's basketball players took donations at the door and also sold commemorative T-shirts, while members of Pacific Lutheran's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee sold concessions.

Men's basketball coach Steve Dickerson, women's coach Kelly Robinson, and players Gabe Smith and Jordan Westering made the presentation to Lakewood Police Department patrol officer Jeremy Vahle, who also serves as the LPIG vice president. The PLU representatives also gave Vahle several large cards signed by Northwest University students, faculty and staff.

The fundraising effort was a result of the player's initial response to hearing the tragic news about the killing of sergeant Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards. 

"They wanted to do something to help," Dickerson said.

There was no charge for admission to the game, he said, adding that the outpouring of donations was purely the response of a community wanting to show support for all those who protect and serve. "Pride and compassion resonated throughout Parkland on Saturday night," Dickerson said.