The Shelbyville Police Department relies heavily on the local FOP Lodge. In recent years, the structure had become nearly unusable and the need to revitalize the property came to the forefront. Thanks to a major donation by the Landwerlen family, the project got off the ground and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is proud to assist with a $25,000 donation toward the project, which is now complete.
“The week of COVID-19 in 2020 was the kickoff to our campaign, so our fundraising efforts were halted,” explained Bob Landwerlen. “Our family wanted to do something to memorialize my mother (Linda Landwerlen) and sister (Kathy Marcum). The building was in danger of being shut down. The Landwerlen family started this by donating $100,000 to kick off the project.”
Thanks to several smaller donations, renovations are now completed. The building experienced a complete overhaul, including a new kitchen, restrooms, two dressing rooms and a second story that accommodates three conference rooms and offices. Most of the work, from flooring to roofing to doors, was all performed by local companies with more than $20,000 in donated materials assisting with the project.
Both Linda and Kathy passed away in 2014. Linda, known for her cooking skills, is honored with the dedication of the kitchen in her memory. Kathy, a business owner and community leader, is honored with the patio and surroundings named in her honor. The entire facility is now known as the FOP Lodge 84 Landwerlen Hall.
“As restrictions are beginning to lift and open up, we are starting to plan our kickoff for the fundraising campaign of the FOP Lodge project,” added Sandi Landwerlen. “We still have a ways to go on fundraising to cover the cost of the renovation, but the project was so needed and time sensitive, we wanted to move forward with the plans.”
Having a usable FOP Lodge is important to the Police Department in more ways than one. Numerous events are held at the facility each year, and with the completion of the project, many training sessions have come back to the facility.
“The new FOP Lodge allows officers to have a place to come and unwind, and now we have a place to host all of our meetings,” said Chuck Curry, FOP President and City Canine Handler who has been with the force for 21 years. “We now have a dedicated training space, and this year will be the first year we will host all in-service training.”
The Shelbyville FOP Lodge was established in the 1920’s as a range. The building and FOP Charter were added in 1938. Since that time, the Lodge has played host to numerous events, and is open to the public as rental space for parties and other group gatherings.
“The mortgage on the building wasn’t something we planned, but I feel highly confident we will be able to meet our campaign goals, thanks to the support from organizations such as Indiana Grand,” added Curry. “Many of the events we hold each year are fundraisers so we can offer events like Kids Fishing Day and provide local scholarships. The capital project will be separate from those efforts.”
In addition to the monetary donation, Indiana Grand recently provided 40 cases of water for the Kids Fishing Day held at the facility. The event provides the opportunity for kids to interact with the officers while enjoying a day at the lake fishing at the facility.
“The FOP Lodge is a great asset for all of us to have,” added Fred McConnaughey, Treasurer of the FOP and patrolman for the Shelbyville Police Department. “We are now able to offer instructor schooling and it brings officers from other departments in, which is a great network for us. Within our department, it also gives us the chance to talk with the older officers and learn from them.”
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino made the $25,000 donation to Curry, McConnaughey, and Sandi Landwerlen earlier this spring. The donation will go towards the capital project for the revitalization of the facility.
“We are very appreciative of the support from Indiana Grand and value our partnership with them,” added Sandi. “We will continue to raise funding through our events and will continue to accept donations toward this worthwhile project, which my family is so proud of. Being able to honor Linda (Landwerlen) and Kathy (Marcum) in this way means a lot to our family, and they would be proud to be remembered in this way.”