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3/27/2013 11:57:00 PM
20th Annual Lake City Police Ball donates $5,000 to Take Stock in Children
Officer Mike Lee, recipient of the Commander-in-Chief Award, displays his award with members of the Lake City Police Explorer Program. (LCPD photo)
Officer Mike Lee, recipient of the Commander-in-Chief Award, displays his award with members of the Lake City Police Explorer Program. (LCPD photo)

The Lake City Police Department 20th annual Police Ball and Charity Gala supported Take Stock in Children, a non-profit organization that provides unique opportunities for deserving low-income youth to escape the cycle of poverty through education.

More than 250 members of the community attended the March 23 event, despite bad weather, to help raise funds for the worthy cause.

Lake City Police Chief Argatha Gilmore presented a check for $5,000 for Take Stock in Children to the Executive Director of  the Florida Gateway College Foundation,Mike Lee. He announced that the Foundation would match this donation with an additional $5,000.

The Police Ball also serves as a platform to show community support for its law enforcement officers. Members of the Lake City Police Department attended and received recognition for their hard work and service to the community.

“I look forward to this event every year,” said Chief Argatha Gilmore. “It is an exciting opportunity to show our officers how much the community truly appreciates their service, and at the same time raise funds and awareness for such a great cause as Take Stock in Children.”

In addition to recognizing the members of LCPD as a whole, Chief Gilmore presented the Commander-In-Chief’s award, the highest honor given annually by the chief within the department, to Officer Mike Lee.

At the end of 201,1 Officer Lee was asked to take the reins of the Crime Prevention Unit and help renovate the position. Officer Lee received the official designation of “Crime Prevention Practitioner” from Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2012. In the past year, Officer Lee was instrumental in the creation of the Police Explorer Program for LCPD. Lee also developed a variety of new business training programs, such as Robbery Prevention and Workplace Violence.

As a result of Lee’s active grant-seeking efforts, funds were secured to help purchase a Firearms Training Simulator, purchase CPR Training Equipment for the Lake City Fire Department, provide reduced-cost car seats to the community, and provide materials for several of LCPD’s educational programs.

Lee also serves the department as an Assistant Public Information Officer, a Certified Instructor, and as Law Enforcement Liaison to the Community Traffic Safety Team at the County and State level.

Chief Gilmore said of Lee, “This is an officer that I know I can give a vision, an idea, even if it is scrambled and not all there, and he will make it happen. He will provide a finished product that is exactly what we need. He assists in several areas within the department, but will never say “no” whenever asked for help.”

Gilmore also thanked the LCPD Ball Committee and its chairwoman, Mrs. Audre’ Washington, for their hard work in making this event a success.

This event was made possible by contributions from several title sponsors, including: Reed Roofing/Pastor L.R. Leguire, American Pawn, People’s State Bank, Rountree Moore Automotive Group, and New Beginnings Restoration Church.

Additional table sponsors included First Federal Bank of Florida, Lake City Medical Center, Pam Beauchamp/Remax Professionals, Corrections Corporation of America, Night Visions Security, Dees Funeral Home and Potash Corp./PCS.

Florida Gateway College provided the facility for the event, Hunter Printing provided printed materials, including the Sponsor Wall, and First Street Music and Sound provided lighting.

“I look forward to our next Ball which will be in March 2014,” said Gilmore.

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