Friday, December 17, 2010

Everglades Kids 'Shop With A Cop'

More than 20 deserving Everglades area children purchased presents for their family members during the sixth annual "Shop With A Cop" event Dec. 11.

Susan Gentry, a Collier County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention specialist, organized the event, sponsored by the Collier County Police Activity League (PAL).

Twenty-seven children received $100 each to select items for their parents, siblings and a gift for themselves. More than two dozen CCSO members, along with their family members, went shopping with the kids to help them pick out and purchase the items.

The shopping spree began early in the morning when the CCSO members and children met at K-Mart, 4383 U.S. 41 North, Naples. Each child was paired up with an agency member and perused the aisles, making sure everyone in the child's family had their gift. Before checkout, each member/child pair met up with Santa Clause, Buddy the Elf and McGruff the Crime Dog at the store's Christmas tree display for individual holiday photos.

The children and CCSO members headed over to Johnny's Diner, 3584 Mercantile Ave., Suite B, East Naples where they were greeted with holiday cheer and a free lunch.

CCSO and PAL would like to give a special thanks to Everglades residents Matt Van, Owen Mitchell, Dottie Joiner and Carol Foss for chaperoning the children, Chokoloskee Church of God for providing the transportation and the friendly staff at Johnny's Diner for their generosity.

Photos by Kristi Lester/CCSO(6)