Deputy Chief John Davis expresses thanks to the generous, thoughtful people of Barton County for supporting Shop With a Cop.
Once again our Annual Shop with a Cop has come to a close; this being the 10th year we have held this project locally. We feel that not only the officers and the kids enjoyed it, but the public in general. This comes from the many people who stopped the officers while they were shopping with the kids at the Lamar Wal-Mart and told us how much they appreciated seeing the officers doing this for the community.
In thinking about the thanks we have received from the community for holding this program, I feel I must say this: The community is who is to be thanked. Without the generous support received from the community in the form of donations, we would not be able to hold this program to the magnitude that we do.
When the program first began 10 years ago, we took approximately 26 kids shopping. Soon after that, the community support grew and grew to the point where a free breakfast was offered to the officers and children by a local restaurant. We continued to grow and add more children and the support continued to pour in; so we added food baskets to each family that participated. The community support is overwhelming to say the least.
This year we were able to have 110 children on our list to take shopping. We began our day, once again, at the Lamar First Baptist Church, who graciously donates their fellowship hall, with a meal fit for a king. This was not only provided by, but also prepared by Melissa Smith and her family; they continue their support of our program each and every year. Then, through the support of the Oakton Methodist Church, we take the kids to Walmart on their church busses, along with a police escort that the kids love. Thank you Marty Compton and Gary Colin for driving the busses. Once again, the kids were treated to seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus, thanks to John and Ruth Ketterman. Thanks to Jeremy and Nikki Brand, who helped in many areas, each of the children receives a photo of themselves with Santa. Captain Ken Reinert of the Lamar Fire Department brought the Clauses to the store on a fire truck; so we would like to give a special thanks to Chief Larry Beatty and the Lamar Fire Department for once again assisting us with such an important task. They brought them to the store in style. We then overtook the Lamar Wal-Mart, with the help of the Wal-Mart Associates, and shopped till we dropped. Every year store manager Kristi Mein and her associates go above and beyond for the program. A special shout out to Brandy Lawrence of Wal-Mart for continued support of putting together and ordering of the food baskets that are given to each family. We could not do it without their support. I would be amiss if I failed to mention the support we receive each year from other City of Lamar employees. A huge thank you to Administrative Assistants, Diane Helms and Earlene Rawlings for their dedication and hard work. These two were critical in the setting up of the program this year. Also, once again, we received vital assistance from other City of Lamar employees at the cash registers at Wal-Mart. These volunteers performed a crucial role in helping to check out the officers and kids. They are Bev Baker, Sandra Phipps, Lisa Buzzard, Deana Baker, Coby Fullerton, Ginnie Keatts and Charlette Griffitt. Some had spouses and their kids helping there as well. Sue Morrison also assisted at the registers and the First Baptist Church had a large crew on hand to wrap the presents for the kids if they wished to do so. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank all of the police officers who took time to help make a positive connection with the youth in the program, you all are truly the best in our chosen profession.
As I have mentioned, we could not do the program to the extent we do without the enormous support of the community through donations. Without donations, we would not be able to do what we do. I would like to thank each and every one who donated to the program. In no particular order; Lamar Walmart Store number 338; Lamar Elks Lodge; Lamar Truck and Tire; Roadys (Lamar Travel Plaza) Bonnie and Gailand Johnston; Richard Scott – Attorney at Law; Independent Order of Odd Fellows; National TV Furniture and Appliance; Tamko; MFA; Lamar Family Ministries; Daniel Funeral Home, Jo & Rodney Jurgens); Law Offices of Smalley & Associates; World Finance Corporation; Bruce Belline Insurance; Isenhower Lumber Co.; Beachner Seed Co.; Jack’s Ice Cream; Larry & Sheila Roland – Mirror Image; Lamar Bank & Trust Co.; Melvin & Emma Hershberger – Countryside Greenhouse; Zuzul and Moorhouse; Redneck Outdoor Products; Higgins Pallet Co.; Curless Farms; Double D Sawmill; Ritchey Refrigeration; George D. Nichols; Donna K. Arnold; Summit Restaurant Group (Lamar Pizza Hut); Konantz-Warden Funeral Home; Hertzler’s Construction; Bank of Minden; Lamar Lions Club; In Triplicate Inc DBA Mazoo Liquor; Central States Automation; Jeffries Plumbing & Heating & A.C.; Cooky’s Café; Barton County Eagles; Toby & Sheri Luce; Golden City Grain & Cotton Co.; Mark & Barbara Fleming; Sawyer Tire; Donald Noll; Fast Eddie Hot Rod Shop; Becky Cook; Bruce & Denise Clements; Wayne & Charlette Griffitt; Scott Potter; Lynn Calton; Hooked on Travel & Cruises – Karen Pattison; Morrison Printing; Kaderly & Kaderly, Bear State Bank of Lamar; Bear State Bank of Golden City; Zach & Linda Heller and Phi Kappa Rho.
Deputy Chief John Davis