WPD ‘Dinner with the Stars’ event to fund student scholarships at CFCC

April 7th, 2015 by Sonya Johnson

wpd send a cop to college

Wilmington Police Department Officers (l-r) Sergeant Warren Kennedy, Deputy Chief Mitch Cunningham and Lieutenant Kathy Cochran announced the celebrity lineup of the 2015 WPD Dinner with the Stars Event to benefit the Police Department’s “Send a Cop to College” Scholarship at CFCC. Also pictured are event celebrities and hosts Chelsea Cooley, former Miss USA and Sydney Penny, former star of Pale Rider and All My Children, alongside 2014 scholarship recipients Officer Joe Smith and Officer Fabio Gonzales.

Wilmington, NC – The Wilmington Police Department is holding its second annual Dinner with the Stars event to raise money for the Send a Cop to College scholarship at Cape Fear Community College. Guests at last year’s dinner were joined by 19 celebrities and enjoyed a night of music, dancing, fine dining and a silent auction. This year’s dinner will be on Saturday, May 2, in Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station Building. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the event will begin at 6 p.m.

The Send a Cop to College scholarship fund is open to all Wilmington Police Department employees and their families. Last year’s event raised over $5,000 and is currently helping two officers attend Cape Fear Community College.

Fabio Gonzales works as an interpreter with the WPD.  “I am attending Cape Fear Community College in the Community Spanish Interpreter Program,” says Gonzales. “My goal is to obtain a certification in order to become more proficient in my job. This scholarship impacts my life by allowing me to continue my education while also being able to continue working full time with the Wilmington Police Department.  After I graduate, I plan to continue working with the WPD, but will now have a degree in Interpretation and hope to be able to provide more services to the Wilmington Police Department and the Spanish speaking community,” says Gonzales.

Another beneficiary of the scholarship, Joe Smith, has served with the Wilmington Police Department housing unit within the patrol division for 11 years, Smith is excited to have the opportunity to return to school. “This scholarship has taken away all the excuses for not going back to college to finish a degree. It will help me to set an example for my 11 year old daughter and help me move up in my career,” he says.

Those who wish to attend Dinner with the Stars can purchase tickets for $75 each or $125 per couple. Anyone who would like to have a sponsor table at the event can purchase a spot for $1,000.   Tickets are on sale at http://www.wilmingtonpoliceofficers.org/.  For more information, contact the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3609 or visit the event Facebook page: WPRA Send a Cop to College.