Ohio County Sheriff’s deputies Jake Ryle, Alan Eldridge, Santa!, Kelly Keith and Special Deputy/School Resource Officer John Ryle participate in Shop With A Cop Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Aurora Walmart.
Santa is not the only good guy with a beard this Christmas
You might not think beards and mustaches would have much in common with Christmas gifts for kids (aside from Santa’s big bushy white one) but this year, at least, they did.
Area law enforcement officers participated in No Shave November, and the money they raised doing so has gone to the Cops & Kids program sponsored by Laughery Valley Fraternal Order of Police.
“I don’t know how many officers participated,” said Greendale Officer Pam Taylor, who coordinates Cops & Kids. But the No Shave effort brought in $1,200 in addition to the initial $4,350 Cops & Kids fund, for a total of $5,562, she said.
“Some of these guys are very surprised that it’s grown out the way it has! … It’s really been huge for us,” said Taylor. Participants included officers from Aurora Police Department and the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department, including South Dearborn Schools school resource officer Ryan Brandt.
The sheriff allowed deputies to participate as long as they raised an initial $100, said Brandt.
“It’s an awareness campaign to let your hair grow in support of those people who lose their hair due to having cancer,” and to raise money for Cops & Kids, he said. Brandt had raised $640 early in the month with expectations to raise at least $700 total.
His sponsors included a number of friends, family and Facebook friends, he said. But that awareness included his own thoughts of a Facebook friend who recently lost his life.
“He battled cancer for seven years,” said Brandt, adding he was participating in No Shave November in memory of that friend, Charles, even though the money raised is going to kids’ Christmas presents rather than cancer research.
Rising Sun Police Department and Ohio County Sheriff’s Department officers participated in the shopping event Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Aurora Walmart, although none quit shaving to raise funds this year.
Dearborn County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Ziegler, who “kind of spearheaded” the No Shave November activities, said Dearborn County Sheriff Michael Kreinhop gave “instant approval” when asked if deputies could participate in No Shave November. Kreinhop’s rules OK’d mustaches, which already were allowed, and beards, but “no goofy looking facial hair,” said Ziegler.
“We had several guys that raised $700 to $900,” and one raised around $1,300, said Zeigler. Most ponied up the initial $100 out of their own pockets. The 17 participants included Hidden Valley Lake deputies. In addition, Dearborn County Dispatch raised another $300.
Other donors to Cops & Kids included the Ohio County Community Foundation, which provided $5,000, with Rising Sun Ohio County Schools staff providing names of needy youngsters; Dearborn Community Foundation, which provided $8,000, with the focus on Lawrenceburg and Dearborn County; the Lions Club; Party at Traz; the Kevin Lynch Family; the Moores Hill America Legion, which provided $5,000 slated for Moores Hill youngsters, with the elementary school helping with names; and SIEOC.
“Kimberly Elliott and staff there (SIEOC) are instrumental in obtaining the names of the children and compiling the lists for us,” noted Taylor. “... There’s all kinds of donors all over the county.”
Combs Pizza and Bank Town are working to get donations by selling T-shirts for a $20 donation, she said. Combs Pizza has paid for the shirts and is donating the entire amount of the sale donations to Cops & Kids.
Law enforcement officers shopped with the youngsters and their families Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Aurora Walmart, said Taylor. Some 298 kids were invited, involving 127 families. Each child received clothing and a toy or fun item.
McDonald’s fed the children afterward, said Taylor. And Queen City Candy made a large donation of candy to be distributed to the kids.
“That No Shave November came through at just the right time,” she said. “I didn’t think this whole thing would fly and it did.”
Anyone else who would like to donate to Cops & Kids may send donations to Laughery Valley FOP, P.O. Box 3763, Lawrenceburg IN 47025, or drop them off at the Greendale Police Department, 480 Ludlow St., Greendale 47025.