Empowering our communities, accelerating the future. 

                                     Dyer Difference Award Recognizes KT’s Sunshine Foundation

Just as the rest of the world was going into lockdown in March, 2020, Kaitlyn Kinard’s family was falling apart for a completely different unexpected disaster. The 22 year-old Kinard was killed in a car-crash involving a wrong-way driver, a crash which also critically injured the love of her life, Landon. A nursing student who was just about to graduate and begin her life of helping others, Kaitlyn’s journey ended suddenly and sadly. But her family and friends knew that Kaitlyn’s special gift for lighting up a room would not end when her own candle dimmed, and they created KT’s Sunshine Foundation, which focuses on assisting families in the community who have suffered tragedies and providing students with scholarships. To help raise funds to provide scholarships and spread a little of Kaitlyn’s sunshine, the organization hosts and annual Southern Sunshine BBQ and Music Festival every year, and this month, the Dyer Difference Award honors Kaitlyn’s sunny disposition and her family’s efforts to share that light with others.

Polk County Award Recipients 2023

                                    Dyer Difference Award Recognizes Polk Sheriff’s Charities

Since 2006, Polk Sheriff’s Charities have been supporting first responders and members of the community in a variety of ways that show dedication, commitment, and loyalty to Polk county residents. What started as a response to the murder of Deputy Matt Williams and K-9 DiOGi after a routine traffic stop, has blossomed into a veritable font of kindness and compassion for the community. First responders who are facing tragic and unexpected events in their lives, like the families of Sergeant Ronnie Brown, who died as a result of injuries incurred in the line of duty and of Sergeant Wes Whitmore, who was hit and killed by a motor vehicle during a routine traffic stop.

It's not just the families of first responsders receiving support from Polk Sheriff’s Charities, either. Children from Polk County’s most economically-challenged neighborhoods have been surprised with holiday gifts, youth organizations have been gifted with team jerseys, victims of domestic violence have received support and assistance, and of course, the organization worked to replace K-9 DiOGi and other K-9 partners. This dedication to service and community have earned Polk Sheriff’s Charities a round of applause and recognition from the February Dyer Difference Award.

Left to Right:  Sales Manager Corey Clough and General Manager David Dlugokecki present the Dyer Difference Award to Ginny Castle of KT’s Sunshine Foundation


L to R: :  General Manager David Dlugokecki presents the Dyer Difference Award to Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Sanders.

Polk Sheriff's Charities Inc.


Ginny Castle of KT’s Sunshine Foundation