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K9 fund gift honors Appleton police lieutenant

The Community Foundation could definitely be described as dog-friendly, at least in the charitable funds it manages. The police departments in the cities of Appleton and Kaukauna and the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department have established charitable funds to help pay the costs of having dogs on duty. Appleton’s fund received a special gift last Friday.

Lt. John Nelson

The Appleton Police K9 Fund within the Community Foundation received a check for $1,000 in the name of Lt. John Nelson, a longtime member and supervisor with the Appleton Police Department, who died in a traffic accident in May of 2007. The gift came from the Kevin J. Fitzgerald Giving Trust Fund. Mary Ann Fitzgerald is a close friend of Lt. Nelson’s widow, Barb. Both women were on hand for the check presentation. (Pictured above from left are K9 handler David Schneider, Mary Ann Fitzgerald, Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas, Barb Nelson and Assistant Chief Larry Potter.)

Appleton PD K9 Eon

“We truly appreciate this donation, as it greatly benefits our K9 unit and the costs associated with training our K9 partners,” the Appleton Police Department said in a posting on its Facebook page.

All three current K9 funds are classified as temporary, meaning the departments can spend down any part of the money in the funds. Appleton’s K9 fund was established in 2005, Outagamie County’s in 2014 and Kaukauna’s in 2015.

The Clintonville Area Foundation, a regional family of funds within the Community Foundation, included in its annual Community Fund grants announced last week a $3,000 grant to the Clintonville Police Department to help pay for the purchase, training and care of a new K9 following the unexpected death of its dog, Chero.

To make an online gift to the K9 funds for Appleton, Kaukauna and Outagamie County, go to, click on “GIVE ONLINE” in the upper-right part of the page, and select the appropriate fund on the drop-down menu.

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