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Northern Valley Law Enforcement Memorial receives large donation

As of May 3 the committee had raised about $203,000 of $250,000 for the memorial, and the $10,000 donation puts the project within arm’s reach of the goal. The committee is holding a week long fundraiser that began on May 9, and coincides with National Police Week.

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Concep art from ICON Architectural Group, for the Northern Valley Law Enforcement Memorial. (submitted)
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Fundraising for the Northern Valley Law Enforcement Memoria l got a big boost in the form of a $10,000 donation on Thursday, May 13.

Art and Debbie Bakken made the donation to Bob Rost, a Grand Forks County commissioner and head of the steering committee for the memorial, along with other committee members. Art Bakken is a former Grand Forks city council member and owns trucking company Pro Transport and Leasing in Grand Forks.

According to Rost, Bakken donated to the memorial out of a sense of duty. Bakken, Rost said, served on the city’s public safety committee when he served as a city councilor.

“He did a lot of ridealongs with the police department,” Rost said. “He's seen what they had to go through, what they've had to do, and (Art and Debbie Bakken) just have a moral obligation that they want to make things better. This donation toward the law enforcement memorial is something they want to do for the community, because this community has done so much for them.”

As of May 3, the committee had raised about $203,000 of $250,000 for the memorial, and the $10,000 donation puts the project within arm’s reach of the goal. The committee is holding a weeklong fundraiser that began on May 9, and coincides with National Police Week. More than a dozen local businesses are participating in the Thin Blue Line Fundraiser, by donating a portion of sales of meals or other items. The list of participating businesses can be found on the Grand Forks Park District’s website.

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Also contributing to the memorial is the Red River Valley Motorcyclists Bike and Car Show Fundraiser, held at the Alerus Center on May 8-9. Rost said the organization is tabulating how much the event raised for the project.

The law enforcement memorial will feature a granite monument representing each jurisdiction in the Northern Valley, and will honor law enforcement officers from northwest Minnesota, northeast North Dakota and Manitoba, who have died in the line of duty.

The memorial will also have a statue, flagpoles, and memorial benches and pavers. More information on the project and how to donate can be found online at the Park District's website.

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Sgt. Jason Dvorak, back left, of the GFPD, stands next to Bob Rost and Art Bakken. In front sits Jill Nelson, of the Park District and Debbie Bakken. The Bakkens donated $10,000 to the Northern Valley Law Enforcement Memorial. (submitted photo).

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at akurtz@gfherald.com, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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