After a breakfast with officers from more than 12 different agencies, over 50 kids were treated to photos with Santa before a parade of sirens and lights transported them from the Aberdeen Eagles building toward Wal-Mart. Store manager Irene Brown said, “we prepare for this all year, my associates look forward to it. This year especially, tying it in with JingleLights, one of our associates is very involved. This year they changed their route a little bit and they went up to JingleLights and came here so that was pretty exciting.”
Just about every isle in the store had an officer in full uniform pushing the cart for their sponsored child as the kids were grinning ear to ear. While few of them would probably admit it, several officers dug into their own pockets to help pay for the items when their purchase went over the amount on their Wal-Mart gift cards. The store also had free gift wrapping setup at the end of the checkout line so the kids were ready to put their presents under the tree by the time their parents picked them up.
One reserve officer was celebrating his second year on the other side of the badge, giving back to the program that he says touched his life 12 years ago when he was the kid that ran the siren. Devin Kite is 22 now, and a reserve officer with the Westport Police Department, he said he rode with a Westport Police Officer in 2003. “You know before that I always wanted to be a cop, and I was this little kid when I was here. I think American Idol was just in its second season and I bought my grandma a Clay Aiken CD because she loved Clay Aiken.” After time as an Explorer with the Aberdeen Police Department, Kite was a reserve officer for Cosmopolis last year, this year he’s a reserve officer with the Westport Police Department.
The Shop With a Cop program was started in 1999 by Montesano resident Betty Crass and was sponsored this year by over 25 businesses and charities. The children for the program are selected by their schools, contact your school for more information.
Jingle Lights has donated proceeds from their Christmas light display at the top of Reynvaan Drive to several local charities, this year they were a big part of Shop With a Cop. Their 45-minute shows are Wednesday through Sunday nights at 6,7&8PM also at 9:00 on Saturday.
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