VCU PD recruits raise money for charity

VCU Police Department recruits, seen here participating in the 2013 Dunk-a-Cop hosted by the VCU chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma, are raising money for several charities this year, too, including some benefiting Leukemia research and drunken driving prevention.

Matt Leonard
Staff Writer

The 38th VCU Police Department academy is participating in multiple events to raise money for charitable causes, including Leukemia and drunken driving.

Starting in February of this year, the trainees have raised money for the Massey Challenge, an organization partnered with Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K. The Massey Challenge helps to raise money for cancer awareness and research at the VCU Massey Cancer Center, said John Venuti, VCU’s assistant vice president of public safety.

This year’s training class is raising money by selling T-shirts emblazoned with the motto “Maximum effort and determination.” They have sold four shirts thus far, according to their webpage. Last year, recruits held a charity event for patients at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

“This is the third academy class to participate in community outreach and fundraising projects,” Venuti said.

Last year, recruits raised $1,600. This year recruits set their goal at $3,500, a goal they have already reached.

A team of trainees also ran the Monument 10K.

Venuti also said the training class will participate in two other fundraisers: Dunk-a-Cop and Walk Like MADD.

“Recruits will be donating their time to Phi Kappa Sigma’s Dunk-a-Cop event,” Venuti said. “As VCU PD recruits sit above a dunk tank, participants can purchase chances to throw balls at a dunking lever.”

Funds raised by Phi Kappa Sigma will be put toward the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Special Olympics Virginia. The event will be held in the University Student Commons plaza on April 8.

Every recruit has also signed up to participate in a third charity event, the Walk Like MADD 5K in Henrico. The event is coordinated by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and raises money for the cause.”

“Walk Like MADD is MADD’s signature event to celebrate a brighter future without drunk driving and underage drinking. This event helps us raise both awareness and funds to stop drunk driving and underage drinking, and provide support to victims and survivors,” according to the event’s website.

The money raised will go toward MADD’s operating cost and ability to provide its service at no cost.

“I’m really proud of the Massey project,” said VCU PD recruit Benjamin Bone. “As a team we’re high in the fundraising rankings.”

The fundraising is meant to help recruits give back to the university, Venuti said

“I want the recruits to be indoctrinated with the value of community policing,” Venuti said. “Simply put, we want them to bend over backwards to help the people of the university and city that we serve.”

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