Paying it Forward: Plover PD Programs Score Big With Anonymous Donation
A Plover police squad car sits in front of the department, located at 2420 Post Road. (Contributed photo)
By Patrick Lynn
Officials from the Village of Plover recently took receipt of a large donation for community programs from an anonymous donor.
According to the Plover Police Department, a $5,000 donation was received to help fund some of the community programs for kids run by the department. The donor is a woman who lives in village but wishes to remain anonymous.
“The giver basically talked to the police department and asked what type of programs they had for the community, and that particular individual thoughts those were absolutely wonderful programs, and they wanted to participate from a financial standpoint,” said Village Administrator Dan Mahoney.
While the department operated a number of youth-gear programs, three in particular sparked the donor’s interest, Mahoney said. Lunch with a Cop, a program which puts Plover police inside schools for lunch several times each month with the students, is likely the most well-known in the community, he added.
Shop with a Cop partners ten Plover police officers with ten Plover elementary school students to help with Christmas shopping. Donations for both programs have been provided in the part by Walmart.
“Now those dollars can be paired with the Walmart dollars, so it’s a great increase for the kids,” Mahoney said.
Seth Pionke, Community Service Officer with the Plover Police Department, started both program in 2009. He said the students chosen for Shop with a Cop get to ride in a squad car to Walmart close to Christmastime, where they get to choose one present for themselves, along with presents for their siblings and parents. Underprivileged kids are typically chosen for the program with the help of social workers who work inside Plover schools, he said.
“And if they have money left over, they can get clothes, backpacks, shoes, whatever they might need,” Pionke said, adding he’s working on a third program devoted specifically for helping kids get new school clothes.
“It’s the same concept as Shop with a Cop, but we don’t have a name for it yet,” Pionke said. “But we were hoping to get the teachers to do this with the kids, have the teachers take them shopping. That way, the kids can get whatever they need and show up to school with confidence for school with new clothes.”
Pionke said he’s currently working with managers at Crossroads Walmart to get the program going, and is also seeking teachers from Plover schools to assist, but it’s a challenge during the summer break.
“I’m going light speed, trying to get this done before school starts, hopefully by late August we’ll have everything ready,” he said.
To donate, or for further information call Officer Seth Pionke at (715) 355-5255.
Plover police also operate various programs focusing on stranger danger, gun safety, drug & alcohol awareness and Internet safety. The department also reaches out to the community during Cops-n-Bobbers, an annual spring fishing event, and occasionally invites residents for coffee and conversation at Dunkin Donuts.