11-year-old raises funds for police defibrillator
By Bert Lehman
When 11-year-old Maddie Kloehn decided to raise money in order for the New London Police Department to purchase a new defibrillator, she wasn’t expecting anything in return.
She said she originally got the idea to raise the money after seeing a story on TV about a kid who raised money for their police department.
“I thought that I wanted to do something too because my grandpa was in the police department,” Kloehn said.
She and he mom visited the New London Police Department to discuss what items the department needed. It was during this visit that she learned the department needed a defibrillator.
To raise money she sold jars, a soup mix, a coffee mix, cookies and brownies.
“I think our top seller was probably a soup mix,” Kloehn said.
In all, she raised $1,600.
“It’s really amazing,” Kloehn said. “I did not think I was going to raise this amount of money. It just blows my mind.”
On July 7, Kloehn presented the check for $1,600 to New London Chief of Police Jeffrey Schlueter.
Schlueter said it was great to see an 11-year-old citizen of the city put in the time and effort to do something that will save lives.
“On an everyday basis we respond to ambulance calls and we never know when we’re going to need a defibrillator,” Schlueter said. “We’ve used it numerous times here in the city of New London saving lives. I’m guessing because of Maddie we’re going to save a few more in the future.
“We’re in a time right now where some of the citizens are criticizing the things police departments do, but in reality we’re out there quite often assisting citizens we get called to. To see someone like Maddie stepping up to the plate at age 11 really means a lot. It gives you hope for the future and there are other people out there who can assist in ways other than donating money.”
Schlueter said he hopes this will encourage others to help other departments and charities.
When Kloehn presented the check to Schlueter, Schlueter had a surprise for her. To express the appreciation of the police department, Schlueter presented Kloehn with a plaque to thank her for raising the money. Making the plaque extra special was the inclusion of the New London Police badge of Kloehn’s late-grandpa.
“Her grandpa retired here from the New London Police Department as a lieutenant and when I was going through the badges that we had I ended up finding one of his old badges, which is badge No. 17,” Schlueter said. “We decided to put that on there as a memento to show our appreciation towards what she did for us. We decided to step up to the plate and make sure that she has something to always remember this along with remembering her grandpa.”
It was a surprise Kloehn wasn’t expecting.
“It’s really awesome,” Kloehn said. “I miss him so much, so to get his badge is just awesome.”