HURRICANE – It’s that time of year again when police officers, firefighters, deputies, rangers and lots of other public safety personnel get to play Santa Claus to nearly 100 area children during the annual “Shop with a Cop” event.
“We are hosting 40 children from Hurricane, LaVerkin and Springdale this year,” said Hurricane Police Sgt. Brandon Buell, one of nearly a dozen Hurricane police officers planning to help out during Saturday’s early shopping spree with the kids. “No matter how many times we are able to participate in this program, it’s always a humbling experience and one we look forward to every year.”
Children will enjoy a hot buffet breakfast that morning at Ted and Allen’s Sports Grill on State Street before piling into public safety vehicles for an exciting lights-and-sirens ride to the Hurricane Walmart.
Donations for the day’s events come from Hurricane City, the Hurricane Wal-Mart, Walmart Distribution and Walmart Trucking 6029; along with Ted and Allen’s Sports Grill, the local Buenos Amigos service club, numerous individuals and other organizations such as the Hurricane Valley Fire District.
Children ages 4 through 12 are selected for participation through the KONY Coins for Kids program. Officers from nearly every law enforcement and public safety agency in Washington County have volunteered their time to pair up with a child for the annual before-Christmas shopping event. Each child receives $100 to spend on gifts.
Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Shauna Jones said another 60 children from the west side of the county are also participating in the program. Children from Washington City, St. George and other area cities will get a jumpstart on the day with a breakfast provided by the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, St. George/Dixie/Utah Chapter #1743. Children will also shop at the Washington and Bloomington Walmart stores with funds provided by the Elks, private donors, Walmart and other organizations.
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