Forces combine for Shop With A Cop program

 
Published11/16/2008 12:01 AM

This year, the Carpentersville Police Department will join forces with their comrades in East Dundee, West Dundee, Sleepy Hollow, and Gilberts to make Christmas a little brighter for area children in need through the Shop With A Cop program.

The Shop With A Cop program works to establish and build positive relationships between police officers and the children of the community. Each year law enforcement officers are matched up with area youths, who together go shopping at Wal-Mart, a major sponsor of the program. This year they hope to give 150 kids $75 each to spend on whatever they want or need.

 

East Dundee patrolman Louie Kloepper organizes the event along with his wife, Bonnie, who is a records clerk for the Carpentersville Police Department.

"We are going through the school districts and talking to the teachers and counselors. They are the ones who are going to recommend the kids. We'll also talk to all the local chaplains of the churches in the area. We're starting to get recommendations already," said Louie.

The big day is scheduled for Dec. 20 and will begin with the children and their parents meeting up with the officers at the Fox Valley Baptist Church at 9 a.m. The Odd Fellows of Carpentersville are going to cook a complete buffet breakfast for everyone.

"Then the kids can sit down with the officer and get to know the officer and the officer can get to know the kid before they go shopping," said Louie.

Residents can help by donating in a number of ways.

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Raffle tickets are now on sale at all participating police departments as well as Bandito Barney's Beach Club and Rosie O'Hare's Public House, both in East Dundee. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. First prize is two tickets to the Chicago Bears v. Green Bay Packers game at Soldier Field on Dec. 22 in the Miller Brewing Company Party Deck; second prize is a Dynex 19" flat panel LCD-HDTV; third prize is a $150 gift certificate and guest pass to the Anvil private dinner club in East Dundee; and fourth prize is a neon bar sign. The drawing is to be held on Dec. 16 at Bandito Barney's at 8 p.m.

Each police department is also selling plush "Sparky the Puppy" dogs for $16.99 from Avon as well as Magic Reindeer Food cards for $3, which contains a packet of glitter and oats to sprinkle on your lawn to help guide Santa's sleigh to your house.

New this year is Shop With a Cop's inclusion in Spring Hill Mall's Giving Spree program. Holiday shoppers can visit thegivingspree.com to make a donation to their favorite charities (like Shop With A Cop). In return they will receive special discounts at mall stores.

In addition to breakfast and shopping, each family will receive a food basket containing everything needed for a special holiday dinner including a ham, pie, vegetables, and potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Bonnie Kloepper said the planning process has been a real group effort among all the departments, and is not limited to just the holiday season.

"We've been having monthly meetings, keeping up with everything. Everybody's got their little task to do. We have five police departments that are involved with this and we have a few people from each department that step up and really help organize," said Bonnie.

"It's turning into a full, 'round the year production. This summer we did a motorcycle poker run with the Anvil Club to raise money. Throughout the year we come across families that need help, not just at Christmas. We'd like to be able to extend it out, so if we have a family in crisis over the year, we have the funds available to help them if we can. That's our goal," she added.

For more information or to make a donation, visit the Shop With A Cop Web site at shopwacop.org.

If you have any news about your club, school, church, business, neighbor, or even yourself, please contact Kirstin Finneran by cell at (312) 518-4993 or email at kirstinfinneran@comcast.net.

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