BREMERTON — The Gavin Buchanan Memorial Foundation presented a check for $6,240 to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Bremerton Police Department Jan. 30.
The money was raised in a street fair in September in front of the Horse and Cow Pub and Grill, and will be equally shared by both departments for their K-9 units.
“Most of you have read the story of Gavin,” said Susie Slankard, president of the foundation that was created in honor of her grandson, Gavin Buchanan. “One of the things that Gavin said when he was asked why he donated money [to K-9 units] — and it was so simple from a little boy — he said, ‘I just don’t want them to get shot and killed.’ Something so simple from a little boy … that’s what made Gavin so amazing.”
Gavin and his parents were murdered on Sept. 13, 2015. His surviving family decided to start the foundation, which solely benefits K-9 units, as a way to continue Gavin’s legacy.
According to the foundation website (www.gavinmemorialfoundation.com), “Gav had a special place in his heart for police K9s and at the age of 5 he donated $100 of his hard-earned chore and tooth fairy money to Cover Your K9 to help purchase a bullet proof vest for a K-9 officer. At the age of 6, he saved $100 again and donated that as well because he wanted the K-9 with his hometown police department of Benicia [California] to have a vest too.”
Gavin was 8 when he died.
“By allowing us to do this for you, it helps us heal,” Slankard said. “It gives us purpose. And it keeps us going. Keeping Gavin’s legacy alive is really important to us.”
The 2017 street fair was the second fundraising event the Gavin Buchanan Memorial Foundation held in Bremerton. Slankard said that between both years, they have raised more than $10,000 for the local K-9 units.
Sheriff’s K-9 officer Aaron Baker shared what Bremerton Police Lt. Mike Davis told him: “Mike said, ‘It doesn’t matter how much was raised. I think one of the greatest things about K-9 is that it brings people together.’ I would like to say, from us, that I talk about your family so often, to so many people, all of the time throughout the year. We are just so grateful to have had you guys come into our lives, because I think what you guys have done has really enriched all of us.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate you and all you’ve done.”
The sheriff’s office awarded Sheriff’s Commendation Awards to the Slankards and the Horse and Cow.
For more information about the Gavin Buchanan Memorial Foundation, go to www.gavinmemorial foundation.com. To learn more about the local K-9 units, read previous coverage at KitsapDailyNews.com; search for “K-9.”