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The following testimonials are provided voluntarily by the families:

Police Officer Celena Charise Hollis
Denver Police Department, Colorado
End of Watch: Sunday, June 24, 2012

"We are forever grateful for the love and attention the Orphan's Fund has given to our granddaughter Amyre. You've truly made a difference in her life, when she needed it most. So many has helped us, but the Orphan's Fund continues to support Amyre, with something seemingly, as small as sending her a birthday card w/check :-), really makes her day. Thank you all so very much, we are forever in your debt."
Vincent, Dorothy, Candice, Princeton, &  Amyre Hollis

Police Officer Shawn Leinen
Denver Police Department, Colorado
End of Watch: Saturday, February 25, 1995

"The contributions toward my education cannot be truly described in words.  I would like to thank the organization for their continued support during my enrollment at the University of Wyoming.  The dedication and continual support of the Orphans' Fund has helped motivate me to excel in my studies, and test my own limits.  The patience and understanding allows me to feel supported through busy schedules and the quick changes of life.  Without this support, I would struggle balancing finances and school, and would not be able to receive the quality education that I want to achieve.  Thank you for everything that you do!"
Maxwell Leinen

Police Officer Dennis Michael Licata
Denver Police Department, Colorado
End of Watch: Wednesday, September 6, 2000

My name is Haley Licata, I lost my father when I was 3 years old.
I am very thankful for this organization. They have helped make things possible that would not be achievable without them. I was able to spend a summer at Crestwood Day Camp with the help of the DPOF and meet lifelong friends.
Now, with the help of the DPOF I am fortunate to attend my dream school AMDA in New York City to pursue what I love.
Thank you,
Haley Licata


Bruce VanderJagt
Denver Police Department, Colorado
End of Watch: Wednesday, November 12, 1997

I consider myself to be one of the luckiest college students I know; I have the opportunity to attend the school of my dreams without the financial burden of a four-year tuition that would make my academic aspirations an impossibility. The Orphans’ Fund has allowed me to cultivate my passion for neuroscience at Reed College in Portland, Oregon; here, my professors have taught me to think like a scientist by formulating research hypotheses, designing and executing experiments, and presenting my findings with professionalism and pride in the work that I accomplish. Arguably more important than my growth as a researcher is the meaningful way in which Reed has shaped my character as an individual. I am completely in my element here— my school inspires me to discover and pursue interests I never knew I had, to constantly challenge myself, and to believe that I can improve myself and the world around me every single day. I am infinitely grateful to the Denver Police Orphans’ Fund for giving me the financial freedom to not only earn my Bachelor’s degree, but to truly follow my bliss.

Hayley VanderJagt


John Schledwitz
Denver Police Department, Colorado
End of Watch: Thursday, September 18, 2014

We are forever grateful to the Denver Police Orphans' Fund.  Our world turned upside down at the sudden passing of John in 2014. The girls grew up as "DPD kids" and those on the job know that this brings different life experiences for the family of law enforcement.  Following John's death, I wondered how I would manage everything for our girls. Our oldest daughter had just started her second year of college. She thought she would need to withdraw and come help at home.  I told her that her father would want her to stay in college and we would figure it out.  It was truly amazing and overwhelming to have the Denver Police Orphans' Fund reach out to tell me that their help was available. I never imagined that we would be in the unfortunate circumstance of being without John; however, we are truly grateful for the assistance of the Denver Police Orphans' Fund.  It is difficult to find the words to convey my deepest appreciation to the Denver Police Orphans' Fund for giving our girls the opportunity of a college education and remembering John.

~With heartfelt thanks and gratitude, 

The Family of John Schledwitz

Gregory Greer
Denver Police Department, Colorado
Date of Retire: Wednesday August 6, 2008
Date of Death: Wednesday July 20, 2011

I am very thankful to The Denver Police Orphans Fund and to the generous donors. The financial assistance that I received helped me achieve my goal of obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Information Technology.  I am now following my dream of working in the Cyber Security field and will soon be pursuing my Masters Degree.  Thank you again to the Denver Police Orphans fund and the donors for helping me accomplish my goals!

Adam Greer, son Sergeant Greg Greer.

Detective Donald Lee DeBruno
Denver Police Department, Colorado
End of Watch: Wednesday, December 10, 1975

May 15, 2017

By Jen DeBruno Kawasaki

I will start with a very warm thank you to the Denver City Council for proclaiming May 15, 2017 as Peace Officer Memorial Day and this week as Police week.

It is with great respect that we can recognize the selfless work that over 10,000 men and women have endured on the Denver Police Department over the past 100 years, 72 of them paying the ultimate sacrifice.

I am so grateful to live in a county were opportunity is the norm, not the exception. As we all weave our way through this journey called life we are given countless opportunities to turn right or left, go straight or turn around. We all meet these opportunities with a different eye and a different outcome, but we are given the opportunity to choose.

I believe that the men and women that stand and protect us each and every day have made a conscious choice, having only a slight idea what may lie ahead for them. The path ahead will surely be rewarding, devastating, happy, sad, enlightening and sometimes dark and dangerous.

In my mind, they chose to walk that path because of one thing …love. Only love would send one on a journey where he or she has only a slight idea of what may be ahead…

  •  Love for a community

  •  Love for all people

  •  Love for right and wrong

  •  Love for the opportunity to see people at their worst and sacrifice themselves to make it better

  •  and truly, love for his/her brothers and sisters.

It takes a very special person to show that kind of love in a public forum where sometimes the actions of police officers are seen as quite the contrary to love.

I stand here today as a survivor of a fallen officer. I have seen first hand the love pour out of this job. My dad, Donald DeBruno, had a love for this job like no other job he could ever imagine. I have heard through stories how my dad:

  •  helped people

  •  counseled some in time of need

  •  took time to hear them when nobody else would

  •  was a friend

  •  was a wake up call to some

  •  and at its greatest form of love… a role model for one young lady to join the Denver Police force.

I believe that he joined the “brotherhood” of the Denver Police Department to spread love.

I also believe that on December 10, 1975 God took one of his earthly angels to heaven to walk a different beat and serve and protect from a different post.

As our family gathered strength to go on each day without him, we felt the love of the entire police force through the Denver Police Orphan’s fund. They took amazing care of our family letting us know that they had never forgotten him, or us.

In the end, life is really about only one thing…love. I am forever grateful for each and every Police officer, past, present or future, for taking the oath to keep us all safe, no matter the sacrifice. Thank you for wearing not just a badge on your sleeve, but more importantly, your heart on your sleeve. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.