LITTLE CHUTE – The Metro Police K-9 Foundation has raised its goal of $100,000 in just over six months.

The first board meeting was held on July 30, 2020, after a delayed start due to Covid-19 challenges. The board set an aggressive fundraising goal of $100,000 in one year to get the K-9 program at Fox Valley Metro Police Department up and running. Despite the challenges Covid-19 continues to present, the community support from residents and businesses is overwhelming, according to a news release.

“We are extremely ecstatic to share that we’ve reached our initial 2021 goal of $100,000 thanks to the generosity of many community citizens and businesses,” said Kell Bales, President of the K-9 Foundation. One local couple, Jim and Lynne Geerts, made a substantial donation to help the foundation meet its goal nearly six months ahead of time. Jim stated, “Lynne and I are flattered – this is important for the communities.”

With the initial goal reached, the foundation is ready to set their sights on the next steps needed to continue building a sustainable future for the Metro Police Department K-9 program. “There is still a lot to do,” says Deanna Fifield, Vice President of the K-9 Foundation. “We want to be sure we are building a program that is here for the long-haul.” There is an ongoing need and plan to raise funds in subsequent years. While the initial cost to start the program is considerably high, each year there are lower maintenance costs to keep the program going. The group will continue with fundraising efforts in the coming months and years and is looking forward to opportunities to engage with the community throughout 2021 and beyond.

“The next steps for the K-9 program include selection and training of a K-9 handler, securing necessary equipment, and of course, obtaining our K-9,” shared Chief Daniel Meister of the Fox Valley Metro Police Department. Chief Meister went on to share, “Our goal is to start the selection process for the K-9 handler within the next few months. Ultimately, we would like to see the entire K-9 program up and running by mid-Summer.” The Foundation is currently planning a community celebration for both villages when the handler returns with the K-9.

To learn more about the Metro Police K-9 Foundation, Inc., including details on upcoming fundraisers, visit https://www.fvmetrok9.org/ or follow us on Facebook @FVMetroK9.

By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.