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Neighbors Organize Donation to Manhattan Beach Police K-9 Foundation

Aug 28, 2020 08:51AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Nelson Gray presents a check to MBPD's K-9 officers on behalf of his Pine Ave. neighborhood group. Photo via Manhattan Beach Police Department.

A "National Night Out" neighborhood gathering on Pine Ave. turned into an impromptu fundraiser, raising $400 for the Manhattan Beach Police K-9 Foundation.

The effort literally took a village, as a variety of neighbors created a chain of events that led to the gathering and ultimately the donation.

"This was just one way we decided to do something for the Manhattan Beach police during their recent [National Night Out] drive-by," said neighborhood block captain Dayle Eisenhauer, who added that more than half of neighborhood participated.

A Collaborative Neighborhood Effort

The effort began when Eisenhauer invited neighbors on Pine Ave. (between 19th Street and Marine) to gather, in a socially distant fashion, for National Night Out on August 4. During a National Night Out gathering, residents come out into the street and socialize while police do friendly drive-bys throughout town.

After receiving the invitation, residents Peggy and Nelson Gray had the inspiration to "turn it into a party" and ordered 20 Fresh Brothers pizzas to entice neighbors to attend.

Then resident Joe Franklin had the idea to use the gathering to make a donation to the Manhattan Beach Police K-9 Foundation.

(The Manhattan Beach Police K-9 Foundation was created to support Manhattan Beach's police service dogs and their handlers, provide medical care to the retired canines, and assist the city with providing additional training and equipment. The current police dogs on duty include Koa, a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix, handled by Officer Gibbons; and Nero, a Dutch Shepherd, handled by Officer Olivares.)

So Franklin reached out to Nelson Gray with the idea, because he knew that Gray serves on the Manhattan Beach Rotary with MBPD Captain Tim Hageman (who is the new MB Rotary president). Gray then coordinated with Hageman to see the project through to fruition.

On the night of the gathering, the Grays set out a jar for donations. Neighbors contributed a total of $400 to the effort.

Then, finally, last week two MBPD K-9 officers came by with K-9 Officer Koa to accept the donation.

A 'Dynamic' Place to Live

"It’s a very cohesive, close neighborhood," said Nelson Gray. He noted that the neighborhood, which has recently added many young families, has a gathering at least once per year. "It’s really a dynamic block."

Gray added that it was the first time that he and his wife and had really done any socializing since the pandemic began. "We must have had 10-15 people around here but it was fun," he said.

And on the night that the officers came by to accept the donation, Koa had a chance to make a new friend as well: the Grays' golden retriever. That meeting was not a socially distanced one. "They kind of sniffed each other," reported Gray.

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