Antioch Police Chief Geoff Guttschow and Antioch Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Ryan Keefe hold up two checks from the Antioch Lions Club. | Photo: Scott Gartner

The Antioch Lions Club, a non-profit organization, gave the Antioch fire and police departments each a $10,000 donation this week to help them buy new equipment.

The donations will be used to help fund protective equipment for Antioch Police Department and provide training equipment for the Antioch Fire Protection District.

Antioch Lions Club President Kevin Fielder presented Antioch Police Chief Geoff Guttschow and Antioch Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Ryan Keefe each with $10,000 checks at a ceremony earlier this week.

Guttschow says the police department will use the funds to help his goal of equipping each Antioch police squad car with a ballistic shield.

The shields will help significantly in officer response to dangerous situations, making it possible for them to arrive faster.

“I am thankful to the Lions Club for the generous donation,” Guttschow said.

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“Our department currently has one shield that is several years old. With this donation, we will purchase seven more, in addition to two that we’ve already ordered, which will give us a total of ten. This provides critical protection for our officers,” he said.

Fielder said that several successful fundraising events for the club made it possible to fund the local donations.

“In addition to national initiatives for sight, hearing, and diabetes, we contribute locally,” Fielder said.

“Our organization wanted to find the best place to give money back to the community. The obvious first choices were the Antioch Police Department and Antioch Fire Protection District. Without their help, our club would not be able to put on the events that we do in our community. Our goal was to provide funding for non-budgeted “wish list” items,” Fielder added.

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Antioch Mayor Scott Gartner, who is a member of the Antioch Lions Club, says the impact the donations have on the community is what drives Lions Club members to volunteer their time.

“This is what it is all about,” Gartner said. “The fundraising efforts of the Lions Club and the generosity of our neighbors are making a substantial impact in making our community better.

Fielder says the Antioch Lions Club is moving forward with more fundraising projects, “with a finger on the pulse of the needs of our community.”