Shop with a Cop Fundraiser happens tomorrow, Saturday, October 28, 12 noon – 3 pm at the Eagle’s Nest Bar & Grill.

Last Christmas was merrier for 30 local kids as Shop with a Cop shared the spirit of the season.  Chief Jay Niles’ department took local kids who might need a boost on a shopping spree.  In this photo, John LeFere is handing out medallions to the kids as they board his motorhome.  The smiles tell the Christmas story.

Shop with a Cop donations topped $14,000 last year, making it possible to double the number of kids.

To contribute, stop by the fundraiser at the Eagle’s Nest Saturday noon – 3 pm.  Checks can also be dropped off at the Columbia Township office.  Checks should be written to Columbia Township with Shop with a Cop in the memo line.

How did things go in 2022?  Shop with a Cop progressed over two days. Both mornings, John Lefere, and is wife Susan, pulled up to the school in their giant motor home.  With medallions in hand, the kids boarded the vehicle.  Escorted by police vehicles with lights flashing, they made their way to Walmart.  The kids picked out presents for others in their family.  They then traveled to the Brooklyn Sportsman’s Club, where club members helped the kids wrap the presents.  Each kid was then surprised with a gift of his or her own.  Oh, the wonderful mystery of opening a present when you’re a kid!

The program gives kids an opportunity to relate to police in an upbeat, positive fashion.  The following video, recorded in 2020, shows how this can work.  A Columbia Township police office, who since has moved to another agency, describes what happened with a troubled student who took part in the program.  The segment starts at about 1:15 into the video.  That year the event was held at the Community Center. Now, courtesy of Blair Huff, the fundraiser takes place at the Eagle’s Nest.

At the fundraiser, you will be welcomed by Chief Jay Niles, Blair Huff, John LeFere, and John Karkheck (not pictured).

Some of last years donors…

Video from 2022 below…