With more than 300 attendees, the Glendale Police Foundation’s first-ever gala recently raised more than $200,000 — a “record-breaking” number, according to the event’s chair Marie Filipian.
The money raised from the June 25 event will fund award grants for specialized equipment and training, youth programs, collaborative community programs and the department’s K9 Unit. Filipian, who has been a GPF board member since 2018, highlighted programs like Students Training as Role Models, the Teen and Police Partnership camp and the Explorer Program for teens and young adults interested in pursuing a career in public safety.
“[These programs] foster a community police partnership and also obviously increase the public safety in the community,” Filipian told the News-Press.
Filipian also shouted out a 10-week community academy for adults to learn more about public safety. “Community members learn about all facets of the police department and community policing, and then they graduate as well-informed ambassadors for the department,” said Filipian, who is an alumna of the community academy herself.
The gala raised funds by offering a variety of police sponsorships for purchase as well as hosting a silent auction with big ticket items such as Los Angeles Football Club tickets, a private wine tasting for 10, a tour of KTLA and lunch with Glendale Chief of Police Manuel Cid.
The GPF also provides nearly all funding for the department’s K-9 unit, which helps with the purchasing of dogs, various equipment, training, and supplies and services to care for the dogs. The foundation will host a comedy night fundraising event in October for the K-9 unit, Filipian said, with more details to come later.
Filipian, who also works as the community benefit manager at USC Verdugo Health Hospital, emphasized the importance of mental health outreach within the department.
“Obviously, mental health is a big issue in the community right now and the Glendale Police Department has a great outreach team that serves that community.
“I take pride in serving on the foundation and also in the excellent work that the men and women in the Glendale Police Department do to keep the city safe,” she added. “They have such a presence in the community, whether it’s police work or attending community events.”
First published in the July 8 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.