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11-year-old girl raises nearly $7K for K-9 officer with ice cream fundraiser

Money raised will help pay for training, food and insurance for ‘Buc,’ as the city’s K-9 program is funded entirely by donations


Lower Burrell Police Department

By Julia Felton
The Tribune-Review

GREENSBURG, Penn. — At age 6, Kaley Bastine hosted her first fundraiser.

Her lemonade stand made $106 that day, according to her mother, Jamie Bastine.

Now, at age 11, Kaley Bastine has raised about $50,000 for local police departments, according to her mother.

The Harrison girl organized an ice cream social on Saturday at Mogie’s Irish Pub to raise money for Lower Burrell’s police dog, Buc. People — and dogs — gathered to enjoy ice cream, buy raffle basket tickets, listen to music, and support the local police pup.

“The thing that inspires me the most is kids get to come have fun, and the dogs can have fun, too — and the police can be helped,” Kaley said.

Add another $6,705 to Kaley’s fundraising after Saturday’s event.

She enjoys seeing people come together at events she organized.

She said it’s also important to her that Buc has what he needs.

“We’re so grateful for her doing events like this for all the local police departments,” said Officer Aaron Rodgers, Buc’s handler with the Lower Burrell Police Department.

The K-9 program in Lower Burrell, he said, is funded entirely through fundraising and donations. The department sells Buc T-shirts for $25 from the police station, he said, and brings in additional funding through events like these.

“It’s a very large expense” to have a police dog, Rodgers said, explaining that costs include training, equipment, insurance, and dog food.

But Buc is well worth the cost, Rodgers said.

“He can help officers locate narcotics and he can warn officers of impending danger on tracks and building searches,” Rodgers said.

He also can help police build relationships with the community they serve. Rodgers said people enjoy interacting with the dog at community events.

“He’s an ambassador for the police department,” Rodgers said of the two-and-a-half-year-old German shepherd.

The money raised Saturday will help pay for training expenses, Rodgers said. Buc participates in weekly training sessions.

Eventually, the police department also is looking to improve a new K-9 vehicle with features like a heat alarm that would alert if Buc was left in a hot car without air conditioning, Rodgers said.

Though she’s young, Kaley Bastine truly does take the lead in her fundraisers, her mother said.

“She goes around to businesses on her own and hands out flyers and asks for donations,” Jamie Bastine said.

Bastine said watching her daughter organize events to benefit her community makes her proud.

“You grow up looking up to people older than you,” Jamie Bastine said. “I should look up to my daughter.”

David Magill, who owns Mogie’s Irish Pub, said Kaley had previously hosted a bake sale at his restaurant.

“This year, she asked me if she could do an ice cream social,” he said.

Magill, whose business hosts various fundraisers and events throughout the year, said he couldn’t say no.

“I realized a long time ago I had a good venue. I became more in tune with the community,” he said. “We’re a hub in Lower Burrell for community events. We help people with all kinds of things.”

Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia by email at or via Twitter .


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