The Valparaiso Police Department couldn't have closed out their week any better. On Friday morning at the Valpo PD Headquarters, members of the police department as well as members from the Bison Financial Group gathered for a special presentation.
The Bison Financial Group is corporate financial advisory and business development consulting firm that helps their clients achieve their financial goals. They do quite a bit of community work including giving donations to ValPLAYso - The Next Generation, volunteering at Memorial Opera House, and sponsoring the Valparaiso Events Summer Outdoor Movies.
In this particular act of giving, Bison donated $500 to the Valparaiso FOP 76 G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program. Specifically, the donation will help pay for the signs, golf cart insurance, and other things needed for the G.R.E.A.T fundraising event that will be taking place during the Popcorn Fest. Proceeds generated during the Popcorn Fest will go right to the G.R.E.A.T Program. This program teaches seventh grade students at Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, St. Paul and Immanuel Lutheran Middle Schools and provides the kids with the necessary tools and information to say no to gangs and become responsible members of their community.
"We just wanted to support the Valparaiso Police Department. They do such a great job," Paul Kuzemka, Senior Vice President and Director for the Bison Financial Group Valparaiso Market said. "With the G.R.E.A.T. Program, there are so many pressures on kids these days, it's important for them to have competent guidance and role models and this program provides that. I have a daughter in middle school at Ben Franklin so I know that this is a helpful program, so we are happy to support it."
The program has been in place since 1993 and had a positive affect on thousands of students that went to Valparaiso Schools.
"This is a great example of the partnership that Bison has with us and the community," Valparaiso Police Chief Michael Brickner said. "Bison understands the value of our G.R.E.A.T Program as it touches a lot of kids. Close to 19,000 7th graders have graduated from this program. Officer Terry Cox has taken ownership is this program and we're very proud of her and all that she has done with the program."