The Matthew Pavelka Endowment Fund was established after Officer Pavelka was tragically murdered on November 15, 2003. In that one instance of brutal gun violence, an entire community was devastated. Less than 24 hours after the incident, Burbank’s unbelievable generosity began to pour in. The businesses and residents of Burbank, and the surrounding communities’ kindness and support was overwhelming.
Officer Matthew Pavelka’s parents, Mike and Sue Pavelka, graciously requested the endowment fund be used to promote the building of future leaders. There was never a question as to the career path that Officer Matthew Pavelka would follow. After high school, he joined the Air Force, only because he was too young to enroll in a police academy. He served for five years as a military policeman, received an associate of arts degree in criminal justice, and was intent on further pursuing his education in his chosen field. Matthew Pavelka was remembered by more than one of his fellow officers as a charming, light-hearted 26-year-old, with a crown of spiky orange hair, who loved being a cop.