Police chief gets by with a little help from her friends in food-box fundraiser

The totals are in and Police Chief Janie Schutz was the winner of the Celebrity Ring-off last Wednesday, raising $1,398.

Fire Chief Michael Kinkade came in second with $401.99 and Mayor Pete Truax suffered a crushing defeat with just $321.23.

All money went to the Washington County food-box program of the Salvation Army, which reported Friday that its red-kettle donations in metropolitan Portland are down 45 percent — 40 percent in Washington County — compared to the same time last year.

According to Salvation Army Lieutenant Emmanuel Masango, Schutz got a boost from two big checks — one for $100 and one for $200. She also got help from rival Kinkade, who set up a sign at his bucket saying, “Please make all or part of your donation to the new police chief to welcome her to the community.”

Kinkade had planned to draw donors to his bucket with a big firetruck and cute firemen, but that plan fell through when his firefighters had to rush off to a call right about 5:30 p.m., when the ringoff started. So Kinkade’s daughters, ages 3 and 7, and son, 11, helped instead — donning Santa hats and handing out candy canes.

“My opponents were awesome and extremely good sports about everything,” said Schutz, who borrowed an antler-festooned goldendoodle named Ruger from one of her sergeants to help draw donors.

Schutz also parked three police cars in front of her bucket and turned on the red-and-blue flashers to attract attention. She even had assistant bell-ringers who wore flashing clothing.

“It was a veritable light show down there,” said Truax.

The mayor didn’t bring any special assistants or attractions. “And we saw where that got me," he said. "Third out of three. You don’t ever want to be the act that follows animals and small children.”

Kinkade is already prepping the rivalry for next year with a tongue-in-cheek whine about Schutz and Truax. “I donated to both their buckets. I didn’t notice anybody doing that for me,” he said. “Next year, no more Mr. Nice Guy.”

Truax, too, is revising his strategy for next year, starting with a call to Forest Grove High School, “to see if the Vikettes (dance team) want to come by.”

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