Last October, Scott Amundson looked to plan a fundraising opportunity as a way to support the Faribault Police Department in light of the nationwide discussions about defunding police.
“With everything going on, I choose to publicly state that I support and love our police,” said Amundson. “I want to keep our police happy and healthy, and get the community behind it and get them to support it.”
Having to reschedule the event due to the pandemic, the C&S Vending Co. president found this month was the perfect opportunity to put his plans in motion. Amundson has been planning a fundraiser concert with the help of two of his staff members: Darla Kosanda and Jean Herda.
The concert takes place from 7-10 p.m. Saturday at the Paradise Center for the Arts, 321 Central Ave. N, Faribault. The fundraiser kicks off with a presentation by Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen about the men and women who work in the department and some of their accomplishments.
A concert by Street Talk runs from 8 -10 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available at paradisecenterforthearts.org, by calling 507-333-7372 or by stopping in during PCA open hours from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday or 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
All funds raised from this event will stay in town and go toward the local police department for safety equipment and assist department personnel with mental health concerns. Bohlen says it’s vital for officers to be able to talk with someone confidentially if needed, adding that its necessary for their long term health and success in their careers and at home.
While some of the funds raised could go toward safety equipment, Bohlen says it’s likely most money would go toward the mental health fund to make sure officers know of services offered through the city of Faribault and that partners who deal with police trauma are available.
Bohlen says he is looking forward to showcasing the department, as he’s really proud of the men and women that work in the city. He looks to highlight what they have done not only as first responders, but also in the community, along with what the department does.
“As police chief, I’m sincerely honored and humbled, and happy the community have been so supportive,” said Bohlen. “This was a grassroots effort from the community and I’m grateful this is taking place. I look forward to bragging a bit about the men and women that work here. I’m honored to work with them and honored for the community’s support.”
Amundson said the community has been supportive of the opportunity to show appreciation to the Police Department and they’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response.
“We are very encouraged to see that,” said Amundson of the community’s support. “When you read social media and see what’s happening and talk about defunding police. I wondered, ‘Is that the way everyone is feeling? So I said well we are going to go out and see.’”
Donations big and not as big will be accepted, and donors will be recognized (if they choose) on an alphabetized list.
Amundson salutes his staff, Kosanda and Herda, who’ve worked hard and even gone door to door to drop off fliers and packets of information to local merchants.
Kosanda, C&S Vending HR director, said tickets are still available and she encourages all to come out and show their support.
“It’s a great cause and it’s going to be a very fun event,” said Kosanda. “100% of the funds stay right in Faribault.”