CRESTVIEW — A Shoal River Middle School student’s 25 cent donation toward the Crestview Police Department’s K-9s for Crestview campaign moved Chief Tony Taylor so much that he visited her to express his appreciation.
“I really like dogs,” Alyssa Ziruolo said, explaining what motivated her donation. “I wanted to help get one for the police.”
Alyssa, 14, said she was impressed by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office K-9s that occasionally patrol school lockers for contraband.
“I’ve seen other police dogs. They bring them to school sometimes,” she said.
While visiting her mother, Heather, at work at a local engineering office last week, Alyssa overheard Crestview Police Officer Sam Kimmons explaining the K-9s fund-raiser.
“I carry some change around with me sometimes,” Alyssa said, and digging in her purse, found two dimes and a nickel and gave them to Kimmons.
EVERY PENNY HELPS
Taylor said he visited the girl to stress how every donation, no matter how small, is important in reaching the campaign’s $30,000 goal.
“You have helped us out tremendously,” Taylor told Alyssa. “You don’t know how much your gift means to my officers and me.”
He presented Alyssa with a Crestview Junior Police Officer badge and invited her to go on a ride-along with one of his officers, with her mother’s permission.
Then Alyssa surprised Taylor with another donation of $5.90, representing half the birthday money she had accumulated. She donated the other half to a local animal shelter.
Alyssa’s gift and a $2,000 contribution from Ricky Bagwell and Jim Prentice, the owners of the Crestview Sonic drive-ins, bring donations to more than $10,000, Kimmons said.
Meanwhile, the Kids’ Discovery daycare center on P.J. Adams Parkway is conducting a Pennies for Police Pups campaign, with a challenge between classrooms to raise the most money.
“At the end of the campaign, if Kids’ Discovery is one of the leaders, the classroom that donated the most will pick one of the dog’s name,” Kimmons said.
The two donors making the largest contribution can name the new German shepherds, he said.
On Aug, 2, police officers will participate in Cops for Canines, waiting tables at the recently reopened Beef 'O’ Brady’s sports bar, accepting tips for K-9s for Crestview.
HOW TO HELP
The Crestview Police Department seeks $20,000 in donations to acquire two police dogs.
The donor with the highest contribution, or who contributes complete $15,000 funding for one dog, will earn naming privilege (with some restrictions).
Make checks payable to the Crestview Police Department Auxiliary. Contact Officer Sam Kimmons, 305-7831 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.