Students at Waukee's South Middle School raised $700 to help the Waukee Police Department purchase a new bicycle for its Bike Patrol unit. Sixth-grader Wrye Downs led the charge for this fundraising initiative. He said he was looking for a way to do something to help out in the community. After a discussion with South Middle School Principal Doug Barry, Downs said he decided to focus on finding a way to make a difference for the Waukee Police Department.
"I asked Sgt. Sposeto if she had any ideas of things the department needed," Downs said. "After she listed off a few ideas for me, I decided to help them buy a new department bike."
Waukee Police Sergeant Mackenzie Sposeto said that at the time of the discussion, the Waukee PD had two large bicycles, but there were none which could accommodate shorter officers. With the mission of solving that issue, Downs reached out to South Middle School students during an assembly. He asked them to help raise funds to buy a new police bike and made the promise of a pizza party to the top fundraisers. Fundraising began April 1st, and by mid-May, the students had turned in a total of $700 to their advisors.
"That was such a cool collaboration between Wrye and the entire student body," said Sgt. Sposeto. "We use our bikes for outreach at community events as well as to patrol areas in Waukee - such as parks and trails - which are hard to reach in our motor vehicles. Now more of our officers can take on those roles."
On May 21, 2018, members of the Waukee PD joined by City Administrator Tim Moerman celebrated with the top fundraisers at a pizza party. Police Chief John Quinn thanked the group and said he was touched by the gesture.
"These kids are just great," said Chief Quinn. "For them to so quickly encourage one another to take action on a project like this is just so impressive."
Downs, who enjoys riding his bike, said he is glad the police now have a new bike and that "it feels pretty good to help out."