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8-year-old girl raises over $500 for Hellam Township Police's new K-9 unit

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Dixie Flinchbaugh, 8 left, and sister Baylee, 4, show off the sign they used to raise more than $500 for the Hellam Township Police Department K9 unit.
Sunday, July 12, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

An 8-year-old girl from Hallam raised over $500 last weekend to help fund the Hellam Township Police Department's new K-9 unit.

Dixie Flinchbaugh had the idea to put together a snack and drink stand in front of her parents' house after the Hellam Township Police Department, which was selling T-shirts to fund the new K-9 unit, didn't have a shirt in her size. 

"I wanted to raise money for the German shepherds," Dixie said when asked why she decided to start this fundraiser.

Though the Hellam Township Police Department is looking to just buy one K-9 for now, it has over $30,000 in funds raised for more down the road, said Chief J. Douglas Pollock.

The department's first dog will be with the department in August and should be ready and trained to patrol by mid-November, Pollock said. 

Dixie first brought the idea up to her parents, Matthew and Jennifer, during the July 4 weekend, and throughout the week the three began to gather snacks, drinks and a tent to set up.

The fundraiser took place Saturday in front of the Flinchbaughs' house on South. Prospect Street. 

"We try to set this example for our kids," Matthew Flinchbaugh said. "To see our 8-year-old doing this made me really proud."

Dixie Flinchbaugh, 8, hands Hellam Township Police Department Chief J. Douglas Pollock the money she raised over the weekend.

By 10 a.m., when Dixie's fundraiser opened up, the sidewalk in front of the Flinchbaugh's house was lined up with people. 

In just two and a half hours, Dixie raised $505, with 100% of proceeds going to the Hellam Township Police Department.

"Some of the people didn't even get anything, they just gave the money," Dixie said, adding that the community's support made her feel surprised and happy. 

The department welcomed the help.

"I was very shocked and impressed that an 8-year-old had the drive to do this," Pollock said. "The Flinchbaugh family has been very supportive of us for a long time."

The Flinchbaugh family, Jen, mom at left, Dixie, 8, Baylee, 4, and dad Matt, pose wearing their Hellam Township Police Department K9 shirts after raising more than $500 with a sidewalk fundraiser.
Sunday, July 12, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The department is receiving its first dog from Castle's K9 in Mechanicsburg.

"The support for this program has been phenomenal," Pollock said.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.