Tonganoxie Middle School students create video to help police dog fundraising
Adam DeMaranville and pal Blake Phillips like to make YouTube videos — comedies mostly, according to Adam.
“I thought that would be a real force multiplier for us,” said Police Chief Jeff Brandau. “They can actually go on patrol.”
The department recently received $8,000 through the Pete and Margaret Leighty Trust Fund to help with costs for a police dog.
Brandau estimates costs for the dog’s first year with the department at $28,000.
That includes veterinary bills, training, overtime and travel expenses.
Officer Tony Schuberger will head next month to North Carolina for six weeks of training with the department’s newest officer — a Malinois.
After that, Brandau estimates annual costs at $7,000.
In a search for more funding outside the department, Brandau found neighbor.ly, a crowdsourcing website that allows donors to give monetary support to various causes.
But to be considered for the site, the applicant must submit an informational video telling explaining the cause.
“I can’t do a video,” Brandau said. “I sure can’t hire a videographer to do it.”
But during the Leighty grant presentations, Brandau and Tonya Phillips, Blake’s mother, chatted about other grants.
That’s when she mentioned Adam and Blake producing YouTube videos.
The boys’ next project was set.
In the video, the classmates did interviews and provided various scenes depicting a “police dog” helping chasing down a thief and later finding a missing person.
Adam’s dog Puck, a beagle/lab/German shepherd mix, starred as the pet detective.
Heather DeMaranville, Adam’s mother, admitted that Puck doesn’t do much in the way of tricks, but the boys were able to utilize him in scenes by playing fetch.
Adam used a handheld Panasonic video camera to shoot footage and then edited with iMovie, though he also has experience with the Final Cut editing software.
“I think they just did a great little job,” Brandau said.
The video appears at neighbor.ly, where people can donate money to the police dog fund.
Currently, about $500 of the $100,000 goal has been raised. About 50 days are left in the campaign.
He also plans to finance the dog from any revenue taken through seizures and forfeitures.
The video, which has been posted twice on YouTube, has garnered about 200 views.
Blake and Adam said the video took about three or four days to shoot and then edit.
Adam said there were some challenges, but production went well.
“Sunlight was definitely a problem,” Adam said. “We were trying to find somewhere (to shoot) when it was overcast … but it all turned out great.”
Blake said he most enjoyed acting in the video.
“My favorite part would probably be when I was a robber and we had Puck catching me,” Blake said. “I had stolen Jackie Robinson’s baseball glove.”
Though it wasn’t actually Robinson’s glove, it was part of the boys’ script.
Adam hopes to someday write bigger scripts. He wants to get into directing and is a big movie buff.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to become a movie director,” he said. “I’m just starting to get a start here. “I know it’s tough being from small town Kansas, but I’m doing my best.”
Brandau hopes Adam’s latest creation will help fund the city’s first police dog, which he said would be a plus for the community, including assistance with finding evidence and drug cases.
“To say that we don’t have drugs in our community just isn’t right,” Brandau said. “We do.”
“I thought that would be a real force multiplier for us,” he said. “They can actually go on patrol.