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Youth police academy seeks donations

Economic conditions are putting the squeeze on many projects and events and the 10th annual Youth Police Academy is no exception.

Samantha Bennett, co-director for YPA, said organizers are hoping for additional donations to help fill in some spaces left by dwindling contributions and growing costs.

“With the economy we are finding ourselves shortened on our monetary donations,” Bennett said. We hope we will be able to fill a few gaps.”

The Youth Police Academy is fully funded from donations and tuition and the operating budget is clearly limited, Bennett said.

“It’s very expensive to run a weeklong academy and it takes everyone working together to allow these kids the opportunity to experience the things that they do,” Bennett said.  “Some instructors are paid by their department with other’s taking vacation time from their jobs to attend and share their knowledge at this academy.”

Bennett said this 2010 academy has new and exciting events scheduled that will be sure to “wow” these cadets. However, having a successful event takes funding.

“Understanding the times were in right now makes it difficult for area companies, organizations and individuals alike to donate on a monetary basis,” Bennett said. “If we all work together and donate just one item it will make a great difference.”

Although monetary contributions will be gladly accepted, Bennett said there are many items that can be donated to help ease the burden of providing for academy cadets.

Some of the items being requested through donations include snacks such as cheese crackers, cookies, etc.; sports drinks such as Gatorade, Vitamin Water; plastic or paper cups; plastic forks and spoons; paper plates such as Dixie or a similar product that can hold up well; paper bowls; bottled water; pancake mix; toilet tissue, paper towels, cereal; breakfast items such as honey buns, muffins, etc.; and napkins.

Bennett said any items donated can be dropped off at local police departments or sheriff’s office.

“Anyone making a donation should mention that the items are for the Youth Police Academy when dropping them off,” Bennett said. “We are happy for any donation.”

For additional questions concerning donations or the Youth Police Academy, contact Bennett at 368-9141 at the Atmore Police Department.