Now that they've gotten their way, the Friends of the Mounted Patrol need to make hay.
Mayor Charlie Hales agreed to keep the Portland Police's horse unit—set to be cut—in an announcement last week. But there was one caveat: the Friends need to raise $400,000 for the next two years to cover non-operational costs such as facility operations, saddles, and other equipment.
The nonprofit group has now launched www.ourmountedpatrol.com to take donations and fundraising volunteers.
“We received overwhelming support from the community to keep the Mounted Patrol in the budget, now we have to turn that support into contributions to raise the money needed to run the Mounted Patrol and hold up our end of the agreement,” Bob Ball, vice president of the Friends of the Mounted Patrol says in a statement.
Sponsorships and legacy gifts to the endowment are also options.
As announced by Hales last week, the mounted patrol already has a pledge from feed supplier Maxson Hay, which is donating a year's supply of hay, worth at least $15,000.
When Hales originally cut the mounted patrol from the budget to cover a $21.5 million gap, the group launched a Facebook page, Save Portland’s Mounted Patrol, which now has more than 14,000 fans and started a petition that received over 4,500 signers. Supporters also turned out to testify at public hearings with signs and stickers.
The Friends of the Mounted Patrol formed in 1985 to help pay for the costs of caring for the horses. Since their endowment has grown, they have been giving $25,000 year for the last several years.