On 11/29/09, a horrible tragedy occurred in the Lakewood community when four of our Lakewood Police Officers were senselessly gunned down while having morning coffee. The four Officers, Sgt. Mark Renninger, Ofc. Tina Griswold, Ofc. Ronnie Owens, and Ofc. Greg Richards, were all outstanding people who gave all to their community. Their sacrifice left nine children without their mother or father.
The community responded with a fervor and magnitude no one ever would have predicted. Immediately after this event, the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) Charitable Fund opened a separate account for the outpouring of monetary donations that flooded in to be held in trust for the nine children left behind.
Because of the generosity of the Lakewood community and beyond, on February 2nd, 2010, the LPIG Charitable Fund deposited $2,129,968.42 into the Lakewood Fallen Four Officers Children’s Trust Fund. Due to the huge amount of volunteer effort, 99.8% of all donations went directly into the fund.
Based on the advice of a certified financial planner, we feel we have fully funded the Fallen Four Officers Children’s Trust Fund for these children. As such, we are now closing this fund to future donations. Because of this event, we have recognized the need to maintain an ongoing fund to help out Officers and their immediate family in times of need. These Officers put their lives on the line for us every day without regard for their own safety. Their families make additional sacrifices along with their Police Officer. They are there 24 hours a day to give a helping hand to those in need. We feel that we should do whatever we can to make sure these Officers and their families are given a helping hand in their times of need.
From this point forward, we have decided to maintain two separate funds: the LPIG Charitable Fund, to assist future Officers who are injured or killed, and the LPIG Make a Difference Fund. The Make a Difference Fund will continue our original efforts to make a positive impact in our community while the Charitable Fund will help take care of our fallen heroes. Any donations received after February 28th, 2010, will be placed in the new LPIG Charitable Fund.
The Lakewood Police Independent Guild Charitable Fund was founded in 2008 by Police Officers of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild who wanted to help make our community stronger and safer. We focus on helping those in need in our community by providing holiday meals, fun events for children, and other charitable activities. We have named this the Make a Difference Fund.
The Make a Difference Fund is named after Ofc. Ronnie Owens. Several weeks ago, Ronnie’s sister, Ronda, was organizing the belongings in his house. She had worked in his house all day before the pain, grief, and exhaustion of losing her brother finally caught up with her. Overcome by grief, she went into the kitchen to take a break and recompose herself. She opened a kitchen drawer, and there on a yellow notepad, were the words, “Make a Difference.” This note had been written by Ronnie sometime before he was killed. There was nothing else on the notepad, just these words. Ronnie supported our charity by playing in our annual fundraiser, the Helmets vs. Shields Basketball game for the past 5 years. So, we have decided it was fitting to rename our original fund the LPIG “Make a Difference” Fund in honor of Ronnie. Even though he may not be with us any longer, Ronnie will continue to “Make a difference” in our community through this fund in his honor.
We would like to ask that if anyone would like to contribute, they make a donation to the LPIG Charitable Fund or the Make a Difference Fund. Donations may be made at any Columbia Bank branch or our website, www.LPIG.us.
Tim Borchardt, Director Deputy
Charles Porche, Director
John Unfred, Secretary/Treasurer
Mike Jankelson, Citizen-At-Large