Graduation Day! Class of May 2018

10-07 Fund Awarded for Support of the Academy

Please allow me to share our experience at the sixth graduation since the beginning of the 10-07 Fund. It was amazing! Eleven cadets have received the Toby Candilora Scholarship to date. The ninth, tenth and eleventh cadets graduated yesterday.

Jack and I attended, as we have each graduation. Director Jack Rickards usually introduces us and provides a little background about Toby when they present the scholarships. This year, we were surprised to be presented with an award to the 10-07 Charitable Fund for supporting the law enforcement program at WSU!

Even though WSU’s law enforcement academy has been in existence since 1964, the Toby Candilora Scholarship is the first one of its kind. This has been, from its very inception, a collective effort, and we want to take this opportunity to thank our family and friends for supporting this endeavor. We could not do it without each and every one of you.

The award was presented by no other than Clinton City Police Chief Bill Chilson, who has hired two scholarship recipients from this graduating class, class representative Dayne Dyer and Chris Wilkinson. After the Chief presented their diplomas, he approached Jack (Jones) and me, held out his hand to shake mine, and pressed a Clinton PD ‘challenge coin’ against the palm of my hand. He said, “Toby was one of my first reserve officers. And one of my favorites.” CHILLS.

Cadet, now Officer, Dyer’s commencement speech was eloquent and truly touched my heart. Dyer told of the rigors of training physically to be a law enforcement officer. He cautioned, however, that without training one’s mind, and preparing mentally, it would be impossible to do the job. As a Mom, my mind went to Toby, and the last year of his life. I thought of all of the work he did for so many years to train his mind to do the job that he loved so much. It certainly served him well in his final challenge.

I wish that I could convey the gratitude expressed yesterday by the scholarship recipient graduates – and their extended family members. We’re hopeful that reading the thank you notes give you a similar heartwarming experience and validation that, in some small way, we are making a difference.

Thank you for all your love and support!

Sincerely,

Robyn Jones

 

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