NORTH PORT — The community of Cypress Falls at the Woodlands in North Port gathered for a barbecue fundraiser on May 28 to benefit the North Port Police Department.
Before the barbecue, the police department’s K-9 unit officers provided a demonstration for community residents.
The event raised more than $1,800 which will go to the North Port Police Officer’s Association, a nonprofit organization.
“This event helped generate money for the association to better our mission, which is to care for the well-being of our members,” said Joe Fussell, NPPD Watch Commander.
A check presentation ceremony was held on Monday.
“People were so generous,” said Linda Bumgarner, one of the organizers. “Some even dropped off donations at my house the next day.”
Bumgarner said the NPPD Special Response Team also brought the BearCat to the event, an all-steel armor vehicle used in SWAT situations.
“It was really interesting to see,” she said.
The money raised at the event will help with K-9 training, safety equipment or whatever the unit needs.
“When a K-9 retires, the handler takes the dog,” Fussell said. “This money will provide for general medical expenses of the dogs. It will also help provide charitable contributions for the community, like our ‘Do The Right Thing’ program for youth.”
Kate Heddings, lifestyle director for Cypress Falls, said the community is quickly growing after being put on hold when the economy took a hit in 2008.
“There will likely be another fundraiser in January when the snowbirds return,” Heddings said. “Our residents are very generous. They’re currently collecting donations of food for a local food bank.”