Trooper Kendra Wilson
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 12, Frankfort
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Trooper Island Anniversary Stirs Emotions
Central Kentucky Woman Thankful for Camp's Concern of Her Daughter
Date of News Release: 08/04/2005
FRANKFORT, KY (Aug. 4, 2005) - Bonnie Cox has a new appreciation for Kentucky State Police and has become a vocal supporter of Trooper Island camp, where her daughter attended this summer.
Cox, of Lawrenceburg, sent her daughter, Morgan, to Trooper Island, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Cox was anxious as parents often are when their child goes to summer camp, especially since this was Morgan's first camp. In addition, Cox had a special concern since her daughter recently experienced headaches and appeared to need glasses.
Two days into camp, Morgan developed a headache that prompted Tpr. Craig Sutton, director of Trooper Island, to take the youngster to a Monticello optometrist, said Cox. "The officers and staff showed sincere concern for Morgan's medical condition, took her for medical attention and immediately contacted me. The doctor said she may have a hole in her retina," Cox said. She called a specialist and arranged an exam the next day, but Cox didn't have to trek to Trooper Island, which is in Clinton County, to pick up Morgan. "I didn't know how to get to the camp...I would've found it, though. But, one of the troopers drove her home," said Cox. "I was so impressed. They went above and beyond the call of duty."
For 40 years, Trooper Island has been a place for children whose families cannot afford camp. Troopers, now along with trained college-age adults, serve as counselors throughout the summer camping season.
In 1965, under the guidance of KSP Director James E. "Ted" Bassett III, today a Keeneland trustee, the KSP purchased the 34-acre island in Dale Hollow Lake and had it declared a charitable, non-profit organization. In Trooper Island's earliest years, there were only two one-week camps and children slept in Army tents. The main marching orders to troopers were to ensure campers had fun and set themselves as role models for the youngsters.
Today, there are 10 weeks of camp for children ages 10-12. At season's end, 700 children have learned about fingerprinting and other law enforcement duties, canoed and fished the lake, and learned the finer points of leadership and citizenship. During all activities, Trooper Island staff reinforces fair play, teamwork and solid self-esteem.
In addition to regular camps, three special camps include one for Hispanic children to help bridge the cultural gap, one for children awaiting heart transplants and one for children with phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic condition that can cause mental retardation when not detected and treated early in infancy.
The goals and overarching theme have remained the same through the years, says KSP Commissioner Mark L. Miller, who chairs the Trooper Island Board of Directors. "The troopers lend their time to the camp to foster leadership, teamwork and citizenship. They show campers that police officers can be friends and mentors," said Miller. "It's a unique, enduring program that we continue to build on so children can get the most out of their experiences there."
Cox hopes her daughter, who was ultimately diagnosed with a pigmentation change in the retina, can attend Trooper Island next year. "I'm so grateful to Trooper Island...they were right on top of things," she said. "Even though her trip got cut short, it just showed me that you could trust and depend on them. My family is by no means financially comfortable, but I gave Tpr. Sutton some clothes (for campers) and a donation. I urge anyone who can spare an extra $10 or $15 to support the children of Trooper Island."
Children can be recommended to attend Trooper Island by contacting any state police post.
Fundraiser for Trooper Island
The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is holding its biggest single fundraising event for the camp, the raffling of a Harley-Davidson? motorcycle to benefit Trooper Island Inc. Each $10 ticket earns the buyer a chance to win a 2005 Harley-Davidson® FLSTF/FLSTFI Fat Boy® motorcycle. This fundraiser and other donations help the camp continue to host free summer camps.
To obtain raffle tickets, contact any Kentucky State Police post or call the KSP Public Affairs Branch in Frankfort at (502) 782-1780. A maximum of 15,000 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held during the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville at 4 p.m. EST, on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005, at the KSP exhibit in the South Wing of the Kentucky State Fair and Exposition Center. Tickets may be purchased at the state fair. The winning ticket holder does not need to be present to win.
This raffle is being conducted via Charitable Gaming License #0000633.
Tax-deductible donations may be made to: Trooper Island Camp, P. O. Box 473, Albany, KY 42602
Central Kentucky KSP posts to contact for Trooper Island motorcycle raffle tickets:
Frankfort Post: 502-227-2221
Richmond Post: 859-623-2404
Elizabethtown Post: 270-766-5078