Family: Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder Memorial Fund to 'benefit programs he loved'
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The parents of fallen Kentucky State Police trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder have set up a memorial fund that will go to support initiatives and programs that their son loved.
Brenda Tiffany, Ponder's mother, said Friday that the Joseph Cameron Ponder Memorial Fund has been established at The Cecilian Bank in Hardin County and will "carry on Cameron's passion for helping others."
Brenda said she at first struggled with setting up any fund, because the family is not asking for any money.
"So many people have been asking how they could help and they were sending us money and we needed to have a place to put it, so we established this fund as a way to honor his memory," she said. "There were so many things Cameron was involved with that he loved and we will use the fund do things that we know he would have done."
Ponder, 31, a native of Rineyville, was shot and killed following a traffic stop Sept. 13 in southwestern Kentucky. He was a Navy veteran who had been on the state police force less than a year.
Brenda and Allan Tiffany, Ponder's stepfather, said one of the programs closest to their son's heart is the Kentucky State Police Trooper Island, a 35-acre recreational site located at Dale Hollow Lake in south central Kentucky.
During the summer, the island is used as camp for underprivileged children whose parents cannot afford to give them the summer camp experience. Trooper Island is a nonprofit that operates solely from donations, said KSP Trooper Jonathan Biven, who serves as the commander of Trooper Island.
The island, which celebrated its 50th year this year, is also used during the course of the 23-week KSP academy.
"During the academy spend one week on the island," Biven said. "It’s where they learn survival skills and team building. It’s a week they always remember. It’s an opportunity for them to see the island and experience how powerful it is."
Allan Tiffany said Trooper Island was something "Cameron liked to do, wanted to do -- he even wanted to take our nieces down there."
"I know they can use all the help they can to put that on," Allan Tiffany said. "It's a great thing they do during the summer."
Biven said the fact that Ponder "gave his life for the commonwealth of Kentucky and knowing the island had such an impact on him -- it means more than you can imagine."
"Losing him is tough, you truly reflect on the fact that it could be any one of us," he said.
Biven said there is a memorial at the island that bears the name of every KSP trooper who has died in the line of duty.
"We will eventually add his name," Biven said. "His memory and his name will live on - he will always be remembered for his service and the sacrifice he made."
Another thing the family will do -- get Ponder's Rineyville home ready to be used as a transition home -- a place where new troopers assigned to a nearby post can stay until they can find a place to live.
"When he was first assigned to the Mayfield post, it was difficult for him to get established," Brenda Tiffany said. "We want to be to help other troopers."
The family says they are “so appreciative for all that is being done” to honor their son.
"It's hard to put into words," Allan Tiffany said. "If you want to talk about all the people who tag word the word hero out here -- he was truly a hero. Truly a hero."
To contribute to the TRP Joseph Cameron Ponder Memorial Fund, you can stop by any of The Cecilian Bank locations, which can be found here. You can also mail a donation to P.O. Box 163 Rineyville, Ky. 40162.
In addition, car decals/stickers have been made to help the family, with all proceeds going to the fund.
In you would like to purchase one of the stickers, you can visit one of three Glaser Collision Center locations or you can stop by WDRB News.
Here are the addresses:
Glaser's Collision Center, 10820 Penion Drive in Jeffersontown; Glaser's Collision Center, 177 Rogers Drive in Shepherdsville; Glaser's Collision Center, 3331 Preston Highway in Louisville andWDRB News, 624 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.
For more on the decals, you can visit the following page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ponder954
Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.
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