Saturday, December 15, 2012

TOP STORY >> Cabot cops moonlight as Santa

Leader staff writer

The Cabot Police Department held its first Christmas shopping event for children in need on Tuesday night.

Cabot Officers Playing Santa toy patrol was able to let 20 Cabot elementary school students purchase gifts for themselves and for someone else at the Walmart Supercenter.

The COPS toy patrol was able to raise $2,500 in donations for the shopping event to allow each child to spend an average of $100 on gifts for Christmas. The students — a boy and girl from each school — were selected by their school counselor based on economic need.

The requirement for the child was to choose at least three gifts. One was to give to someone else. One was something the child needs, such as a coat, shoes or a clothing. The third was whatever they wanted.

Kindergartner Psyllis Pruiett, 6, picked out a present for his friend, Gabriel.

Pruiett’s mom, Brandy McDaniel, said, “It kind of makes me want to cry.”

She continued, “I wasn’t able to get him (gifts) for Christmas. I lost my job in July and got a new job this week, but won’t be paid until after Christmas. He was excited to shop with the police. He likes the police.”

Zoey Howard, 8, was not shopping for herself, but for her brother, cousins and grandparents, “because they are important to me,” the third-grader said.

Howard did get a new coat and headphones for her, then selected gifts for her family.

Bryce Fiser, 9, said he liked shopping with the police because he got a present for his mom. Fiser is a second-grader.

Officer John Dodd said, “Bryce was a lot of fun. He was having a good time, smiling a lot and could not wait to pick out a present for his mother.”

Sgt. Keith Graham said he heard a lot of positive comments from the children. He would like to see 50 students or more for the shopping event next year. “They see the police officer in a different perspective — the positive side,” Graham said.

Chaplain Tina Frost, “Thanks for all the people who made it possible and all the donations sent. We’re going to do it again next year.”