VCU Police plunge into local fundraising efforts

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In less than two weeks, officers and staff from the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department have helped raise more than $5,500 for the Massey Cancer Center, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, FRIENDS Association for Children, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Between April 11 and April 21, VCUPD joined three separate efforts to support local and national charitable organizations.

The biggest event for the department was the inaugural Ride 4 Massey, a charity poker run on April 11. VCU Police hosted more than 100 motorcycle riders at Steel Horse Harley Davidson in Midlothian.

Riders visited three other stops along a 60-mile route throughout the Richmond area. At each stop, riders picked up a playing card from a VCUPD volunteer. The rider with the best hand of cards at the end of the ride won a trophy and prize pack.

The poker run raised more than $4,000 that will go to VCU’s Massey Cancer Center for cancer research — an impressive amount for a new event.

“This was the first year for the ride and we’re extremely pleased with the participation and the results,” VCU Police Chief John Venuti said. “This is definitely something we’ll grow in the future.”

Also on April 11, officers and staff joined the Walk Like MADD 5k at Dorey Park in Henrico to support local efforts to eliminate drunk driving. The team raised $486 for the Richmond branch of MADD.

This week, officers literally took the plunge in the fourth annual Dunk-A-Cop on VCU’s Student Commons Plaza. Students, faculty and staff paid to pitch balls at a dunking lever — or the chance to automatically dunk officers into a tank of cold water.

The joint effort with VCU’s Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity raised more than $1,000 for FRIENDS Association for Children and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. During the past four years, the event has brought in more than $5,000 for charity.

“Having strong ties with charitable organizations and partnerships within the university are cornerstones of community policing,” Venuti said. “VCU Police officers and staff have shown, yet again, how committed they are to supporting a variety of causes, whether it be cancer research, preventing drunk driving or helping local kids. The causes are serious, but we’re having fun while working toward common goals.”


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