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Volunteer group honors officers with over 200 gift cards

People in Marathon County are getting a chance to pay it forward and show their appreciation to...
People in Marathon County are getting a chance to pay it forward and show their appreciation to local law enforcement with the help of a new organization.(WSAW)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 8:42 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - People in Marathon County are getting a chance to pay it forward and show their appreciation to local law enforcement with the help of a new organization.

The volunteer group is called the Law Enforcement Appreciation Project (LEAP).

It’s their goal to not only collect donations from around Marathon County but to honor officers with a special gift.

“We’re fortunate to work in a community where there is a lot of support for law enforcement,” Marathon County Sheriff Scott Parks said.

Several law enforcement officers gathered in the morning of Thursday, Nov. 19 to be recognized for their hard work and to get a simple thank you.

“We had over 200 gift cards that were $20 each for local places gas stations and places that are open 24/7,” LEAP Spokesperson Kara Weiland said.

The group collects donations from folks around the community and the idea spawned from resident and LEAP Founding Member Dan Krcma.

“I want to emphasize how much the community is behind [officers],” Krcma said.

He said he was buying a pop at a Kwik Trip back in June when he saw an officer also buying a refreshment.

“And I thought you know, I ought to buy his break refreshment and so I stepped to the cashier and I said when the officer comes up this is paid for him,” Krcma said.

It was at that point he realized this should not be a one-time deal.

“I got out in my car and I reflected on that moment and I thought ‘you know that probably doesn’t happen as often as it should,’” Krcma said.

Soon after, he got other volunteers together to create LEAP.

They believe the actions of some in law enforcement don’t represent all officers.

“Around the nation, there are a lot of negative remarks pertaining to law enforcement. Our people feel the same stress because of the brothers and sisters that they have working other municipalities, other areas of the nation,” Parks said.

Thursday was just the beginning of what they say will be a perpetual act of giving.

“With our project, we’re hoping that there are ways for us to continue to give to departments so they can… show tokens of appreciation of their officers,” Weiland said.

The group also hopes that by showing officers support, it will have a positive impact on the community.

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