NORWICH -The Chenango County Law Enforcement Association (CCLEA) hosted their second annual “Shop with a Sheriff” event his past Saturday, on Dec 17. Adding double the amount of children from last year’s event, it was all hands on-deck for volunteers.
In addition to Correctional Officers, road patrol deputies from the Chenango County Sheriff's Department were paired with more than 30 children to go Christmas shopping at the Norwich Walmart. All children selected for shopping at the event were chosen by each school district in Chenango County.
Once paired with their deputies and Officers on Saturday morning, they took to the aisles of the store, where each child was permitted to spend $125 on themselves and $75 on their family members for the holidays.
Deputy Anthony Lawrence said that his paired child, Odessa, “Was super excited to buy things for others. She did not even seem to care about buying stuff for herself.” He also added what a great kid she is.
Deputy Howe stated that her paired child wanted to make sure her family's gifts were chosen first. “It wasn't important to her to spend the exact dollar amount of $125 on her and $75 on family. She chose her family's gifts, and then asked me how much was left to spend on herself.”
In addition to the deputies feedback, this year was the first time that Correctional Officers got to witness the joy the event brings.
Sgt. Williams CO said, “Everyone enjoyed being part of this event. They have already asked to do it again. This event is not only to show what a great community we live in, but it also shows how much we care about our community. Merry Christmas to everyone–even the ones that did not get picked this year–and keep up the good work at home and school. Maybe it will be you next year.”
Chenango County Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting Jr. and the UnderSheriff Daniel Frair were in attendance and received ‘thank yous’ and handshakes from shoppers in the store for all the law enforcement officers were doing for the local children.
Shoppers who witnessed the event also took to social media to show their appreciation for the event.
Christina Bates took to Facebook to say, “I had a great time at Walmart for once. The sheriffs were there doing their shopping with the kids. It was great to see so many happy, smiling faces. And my kids love the police, so it was a great teaching experience for them too. Kudos to the Sheriffs office. What a great way to be part of our community!”
Deputy Kruser, who was in-charge of orchestrating this year’s event, said, “The support of local businesses and the community was amazing this year. We decided to make the event bigger than it was last year by bringing more kids and allowing them to spend a little more. The community coming together and supporting the event, and us, made it possible”.
He also added, “With our job, often the interactions we have with kids do not occur under ideal circumstances. The kids we interact with while working a normal shift may be victims of crimes or involved in motor vehicle accidents. It's great to spend a few hours walking around with kids outside of our normal stressed environment and talking about how cool Monster High is, which I had never heard of before Saturday. We are currently working on a plan for a summer event so we can have more positive interactions with kids.”
All deputies and correctional officers who participated in “Shop with a Sheriff” volunteered their time to be apart of this special annual event.
Local donations made for the event included: Norwich Glass, Skillin’s Jewelers, R.J. Fahy Funeral Home, Chobani, LLC., Shawn Baker and Chenango Valley Technologies, Shaver Contracting, Guys Auto Repair, Oxford night shift of the New York State department of transportation, Allstate Insurance, Jim and Audrey Robinson, Bill and Kathy Irwin, Chenango Welding Supply, LLC., the Hannan family, Carl Wescott, the owner of All Wall Builders, Rick and Joann Mirabito, Little Friends Family Daycare, Tadd Parks, owner of Parks Paving and Sealing, NYCM Insurance, The Stadium Sports Bar and Grill, Nina's Pizzeria and Restaurant, Distefano & Gordon, LLC., Burrell's Excavting, North Norwich Fire Department, Roma's in Oxford, Dunkin Donuts in Norwich, Natoli & Natoli LLP, RSD Motorsports, Linsey Layne Boutique, Chambers and O'Hara, Al and AJ Auto Reco, KMC Sand and Gravel, Jim “Rocky” Rothwell Used Auto Sales, Countryside Stove & Chimney and Faber;s Home & Kitchens and the Deputy Sheriffs of Chenango County.
The CCLEA said, “It was another big success and so much fun for us to be a part of. Thank you to Walmart for helping us with the shopping and the 10 percent discount. Thank you to Chobani for their donation of yogurts for snacks. And most importantly, thank you to all of the businesses and individuals who donated their money to make this event possible. If you would like to donate for next years “Shop with a Sheriff” feel free to do so at any time. 100 percent of your donations go into a separate account and are used for the kids.”