Spending an overall total of approximately $15,000 this year, the 2010 Shop With a Cop Program offered around 100 local kids of all ages a free McDonald’s breakfast, a $125 Wal-Mart gift card shopping spree ($100 toward needed clothes and $25 for toys/games), a trip to see a children’s movie at Capitol 8 Theatres (choice between Disney’s “Tangled” or the latest “Narnia” film), a trip to Tumbleweed for ice cream, and a chance to hang out with many of our local police officers.
As the breakfast came to an end and shopping began, iSurf News took a minute to speak with the man responsible for organizing the Shop With a Cop Program for the last 17 years—13-year President of FOP Lodge 19, Jerry Robards.
“We’ve been growing it so much, and we have so much help now, that the program basically runs itself once all the paperwork is done,” said Robards. “We invited 100 kids along with their families, and we’ve got at least 100 volunteers made up of members from the Madisonville Police Department, the Hopkins County Jail, the Citizen’s Police Academy, the FOP, and their families. We try to make it a family-oriented event so that our kids can see what goes into the program firsthand.”
“Around 1979 or 1980, our FOP Lodge hosted the first Shop With a Cop, and they only took 8-10 kids at the time,” said Robards of the program’s history. “I started running it in 1993 and we began trying to get more members involved as well as their families. Once we got the families involved—and after people came out and experienced the program at least one time—it just started growing and people started wanting to come back year after year. We made it up to 80 kids that we were able to invite last year and it was the smoothest one we’ve ever run. So this year we invited 100 and it’s working out great. The guys are interested—they love it—and the kids love getting to hang out with the police. It’s just one of the most fantastic days of the year for all of us.”
As Robards added, fundraising for the Shop With a Cop Program is underway all year around, with most of the planning beginning sometime in September. In addition, Robards stated that the Shop With a Cop Program conducts their main fundraising drive during summer months, yet reminded local citizens that donations will be accepted for next year’s program as early as this afternoon, December 11th. So if you would like to give the Shop With a Cop Program fund a “head start” for 2011, please send all donations to the following address: Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 19, PO Box 365 Madisonville, KY 42431. Donators should also include a note explaining that the gifts are for the Shop With a Cop Program.
To view over 30 pictures from the 2010 Shop With a Cop Program, please click the slide-show box below this article. Additionally, you may view the pictures in a larger format by simply double clicking the player.
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