Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
To express their appreciation for the accommodation of the city of Leavenworth during their time at the Command and General Staff College, the international military students in the Command and General Staff Officer Course class of 2020 are donating $1,000 to the City of Leavenworth, Parks and Recreation Activity Scholarship Program.
“Qualifying low-income or disabled individuals or families who live in the city limits of Leavenworth and are currently receiving public financial assistance may be awarded a $100 credit per approved person per year to be used toward certain Leavenworth Parks and Recreation Department activities, such as fitness facility passes, swim programs and youth sports,” according to the official City of Leavenworth website.
Dutch Maj. Jan Cornelis in het Veld, IMS chief of staff, said the donation is small, but has big intentions.
“It is the small gesture of our appreciation as international officers to the Leavenworth community and their continued support to us and our families,” he said. “Hopefully, this small contribution will make a lasting impact on the effort that the population has made for us to be able to do so in the decades to come.
“Since most of us are (parents) ourselves, it seemed like a very nice gesture to donate the money to a possibility of the parks and for the kids to play in those parks and do a little more outside, especially those in need
in times like these,” in het Veld said.
The $1,000 is a combined donation from all 113 IMS officers.
“Usually, all IMS classes do some sort of fundraiser in order to finance the class gift and also the end of the year party. In between, there are smaller expenses that we have,” said German Lt. Col. Martin Prokoph, IMS treasurer. “Since we have the (COVID-19) crisis, the end-of-theyear party isn’t going to happen, so the money that is usually assigned for that, we thought about what to do with
it. Instead of paying everyone out, we thought that the city of Leavenworth made us all honorary citizens of Leavenworth, so it is a nice gesture in a time of need and crisis to give something back.
“We have been welcomed here so nicely. It was nearly overwhelming for me personally,” he said. “All the people here are just so nice, and they help us out with anything they can without asking for anything in return. …This is one of the reasons why we’re happy to have an opportunity to give something back.”