MASON, W.Va. — Following another successful year of Shop with a Cop, Loyalty is Forever recognized those who help to make the event possible for area youth each year.
Loyalty is Forever representatives Shannon and Lori Miller and Tina Wood Richards, joined by Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood, Deputy Matt Martin and administrative assistant Cheyenne Martin, presented certificates of appreciation to Beth Shaver of the Meigs County Council on Aging Close to Home Catering and Brian Blain Manager of Wal-Mart in Mason. Deputy Martin was the top fundraiser in the sheriff’s office “No Shave November” fundraiser for Shop with a Cop.
Lori Miller explained that for the past two years Close to Home Catering at the Council on Aging has provided breakfast for the children who take part in the Shop with a Cop event.
When Close to Home Catering was asked to be part of the event in 2018 they quickly got on board. As soon as it was over, Executive Director Beth Shaver said the agency asked to take part again for 2019. They plan to take part again in 2020.
Wal-Mart in Mason is not only the location where the children shop with the first responders, but also worked with Loyalty is Forever to secure a grant from the Wal-Mart Community Grants Team to benefit Shop with a Cop. Shannon Miller completed the grant application, along with applications for other grants, submitting it to the Wal-Mart Community Grants team for review. Those applications are then sent to the local store managers for review before approval.
Lori Miller explained that the team at Wal-Mart help to make the event a good experience for the kids who are participating, making them a priority.
“We look forward to it (Shop with a Cop). That time that we see those kids means so much to our folks. We look forward to it too and get excited,” said Blain.
In 2019, there were 103 kids who took part in the event, with $150 spent on each child.
Sheriff Keith Wood said that when he took office one of his goals was to work with the children of the county and show them that law enforcement and other first responders are there to help and to interact with them in positive ways.
“It is a positive thing throughout the schools,” said Deputy Martin, who is the school resource officer at Meigs Middle School and High School. He added that when the kids are brought in and told about the opportunity to take part they are excited, and while they do not have to tell others about what they will be doing, many are excited to tell others. ^
Loyalty is Forever is continuing with it’s “Firehouse 12” fundraising campaign and planning for the “March Bagness” games to be held on March 5 at the Syracuse Community Center.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.