A cop's number-one fanWoodbury Public Safety Board president Terri Smith is gearing up for the organization's annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
It’s no secret that Terri Smith is a big sports fan. The den of her home is adorned from wall to wall with Twins, Vikings and (yes, even) Packers pennants, souvenir Gopher hockey sticks, framed collector cards and myriad baseball caps.
It’s also no secret that Smith is quite possibly the number-one fan of the local police, fire and EMS department.
For the last eight years, the longtime Woodbury resident has been a member of the Woodbury Public Safety Board. She’s currently serving as the president of the board.
Last week the sports-themed den in Smith’s home was being used as a makeshift storage facility for the Woodbury Public Safety Board’s annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser, which takes place Tuesday, Sept. 8 at the Prom Center in Oakdale.
A pool table in the den was blanketed with several goods that will be auctioned and raffled off at the dinner to raise funds for the board’s planned purchase of a LUCAS cardiac compression device to be installed in the last of the Woodbury Public Safety Department’s four ambulances.
For nine years the public safety board, which is comprised of nine volunteer members, has organized the annual spaghetti dinner as well as helped sponsor other events in Woodbury all with a focus aimed at education for the community and support for local public safety.
In past years the board has used proceeds raised at the dinner to purchase training for K9 officers and their dogs, a cardiac monitor and a thermal imaging cameras.
“The funds that we raise at this dinner go directly towards purchasing those tools that can really enhance the tool box for our public safety department,” said Smith, who works as a branch director for the state Department of Public safety. “The main thing we want people to know is that this is an event for the entire community.
“It’s a fun way to connect with your local police officers and firefighters and it’s a good way to help show them your support.”
Efforts are appreciated
The work the board does to raise money for purchase of the devices for the local public safety department does not go unnoticed, said Woodbury Public Safety director Lee Vague.
“Many of these are important items and resources that are not inexpensive,” Vague said. “And especially in time when we are trying to keep our budget flat, to be able to have that extra support from the community, that means a lot to the officers, firefighters and EMT’s that are out serving the public every day.”
The non-profit, volunteer Woodbury Public Safety Board was borne out of the vision of former Woodbury Police Chief Greg Orth more than a decade ago.
Orth was still police chief when he helped create the board with some help from key community members, but he joined the board shortly after he retired in 2002.
That’s when Terri Smith joined the board. Smith said she got to know Orth quickly and the board blossomed under his vision and the contributions of the community.
“The people who volunteer for this organization, these are all professional working people who generously share their time and talents for the benefit of others,” Smith said.
Smith said she believes the efforts and successes of the public safety board are the result of a total team effort. Vague said people who know Smith see her as an energetic leader for the organization.
“Terri has so much energy and passion for the board and, really, she and everyone on the board are very cool people. They have a great partnership with our public safety department and for that we are grateful.”