K-9 Fund growing with two major contributions

Photo submitted to Times Observer From left, in front, are John Lasher, Community Foundation Executive Director; Officer Scott Neiswonger, Conewango Township Police Department; Mary Conarro and Tim Conarro, Conarro Family Fund; and, in back, District Attorney Rob Greene; Susan Merritt, DeFrees Family Memorial Fund; Sheriff Ken Klakamp; Mike DelPrince and Stephanie Freitag, DeFrees Family Memorial Fund.

$10,000 contributions from each of two members of the Community Foundation of Warren County — the Conarro Family Fund and DeFrees Family Memorial Fund — went into the K-9 Fund being administered by the Foundation for the benefit of the K-9 Officer Program.

The Conarro Family Fund and the DeFrees Family Memorial Fund each matched the original $10,000 K-9 Fund grant from the Foundation.

“The K-9 Fund has grown significantly since it was established at the Community Foundation, including almost $1,500 in online donations,” noted John Lasher, Executive Director. “We are pleased and proud to provide this opportunity for people to support the K-9 Officer Program.”

“The K-9 Officer is a resource for all of Warren County and the surrounding area,” said Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene. “We are fortunate to have the Conewango Police Department as a location for this program. Officer (Scott) Neiswonger is dedicated to the program and is now ready to start with a new partner after the tragic loss of Choper, our first K-9 Officer.”

Although the growth of the K-9 Fund has been impressive, the cost of maintaining a K-9 Officer Program is significant. “Many of the items we need are donated, but there are ongoing costs to maintain the program,” Greene said. “The outpouring of support from the community reminds us of the wonderful impact Choper had as a community service representative of law enforcement in Warren County. Everywhere he went, he made friends. We hope that people will support this ongoing need for funds to operate the K-9 Officer Program.”

The expenses for the first few years of the K-9 Officer Program exceeded $35,000. Although the cost of obtaining a new K-9 Officer may be covered by a grant, the ongoing costs of the program include equipment and training.

Tax-deductible donations to the K-9 Fund may be made by check payable to the Community Foundation of Warren County with K-9 Fund in the memo line, or online at CFOWC.org.

For more information, contact the Community Foundation through the website, e-mail to cfwc@westpa.net, call 726-9553, or by visiting the office at 310 Second Avenue.