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Girl Scouts, CERT team line up to help Milwaukie Police Department

Volunteers aren’t waiting until July 27 to raise money for the Milwaukie Police Department, when the Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation’s annual signature 9K for K9 Walk is scheduled.

1. On Friday, July 19, the volunteer Milwaukie public-safety foundation and Advisory Committee presented MPD with a commemorative plaque honoring the canines and handlers that have served the citizens of Milwaukie.

2. First, a volunteer effort was key in securing a total $437,061 in federal grants for Clackamas County public-safety organizations, including $2,500 in equipment for MPD cadets and $15,960 for local volunteer groups.

3. Then girls from Happy Valley’s Girl Scout Troop 42610 surprised foundation members and Officer Les Hall on July 1 by donating $100 worth of returnable cans and bottles for the care of MPD’s new canine officer, Yago.

Eight girls, all junior-level Scouts in fourth or fifth grade, spent two long sessions, first canvassing their neighbors for donations, then organizing and returning the nickel deposits. The 10- and 11-year-olds all live in Happy Valley and attend either Scouters Mountain or Happy Valley elementary schools.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: GIRL SCOUT TROOP 42610 - Presenting Milwaukie Officer Les Hall and Yago with $100 collected from bottles and cans in North Clackamas neighborhoods are, from left, Emily Zak, Anna Hermens, Hannah Wilhelms, Valerie Tomita, Hannah Adsitt and Lindsey Gotter. Not pictured, but who also helped: Reese McDowell and Emily Gotter.According to Troop Leader Kim Gotter, it took about three hours for the girls to collect the bottles and cans by going door to door in local neighborhoods. An even bigger task, estimated at more than six hours, involved sorting the 2,000 bottles and cans collected and putting them in the return center machines.

“This was a great community service event for the girls to show the power of a team helping their community,” Gotter said. “It showed them how they can make a difference in their community, even as an elementary-age student.”

Federal funding

FEMA provided MPD cadets funding under the Urban Areas Security Initiative, but someone still had to apply successfully for local funding. So Clackamas County Emergency Management staffers Sarah Stegmuller Eckman and Nora Yotsov worked with volunteers such as Milwaukie CERT Coordinator Linda Hedges and public-safety professionals such as Gregg Ramirez, Clackamas Fire District’s emergency manager, and Tammy Owens of the Boring Fire District, to request such funds for Clackamas County.

FEMA came through in fiscal year 2011 with volunteer equipment for the Medical Reserve Corps, managed by Kathy Thompson of the Clackamas County Health Department, Canby CERT’s new two-way radios, and Milwaukie CERT’s radios and vests and medical supplies. MPD cadets received all-weather rain jackets to match regular officers, a laptop computer for writing reports and some patrol-grade flashlights.

Hedges also ordered a number of heavy-duty vinyl stretchers for CERT teams in Canby, Happy Valley, Oregon City and Milwaukie. Some are designated to Milwaukie’s four city buildings as emergency supplies.

When fiscal-year 2012 grants are announced, FEMA’s UASI money also will go to training exercises, emergency-management conferences and training equipment for emergency-preparedness volunteers. But with impending cuts at the congressional level, Clackamas County agencies won’t get any more UASI funding for the 2013 fiscal year, Stegmuller Eckman noted.

Show your support

To preregister for $25, or to sponsor someone else to walk 9K for K9 Walk on Saturday, July 27, visit milwaukiepsf.org, where more information is available about the event.

Participants in the walk can choose a 3, 6 or 9-kilometer route with their leashed four-footed best friends.

Fundraiser proceeds will benefit the Milwaukie Police Department’s Canine Program.

Participants receive an event T-shirt, water bottle and a “Shaka” Snack.

Registration the day of the event will be $30.