On Saturday, December 17, 2016, PCSO West Division COPS (Community Oriented Policing) deputies will bring some Christmas cheer to 29 children during the annual Westside COPS Christmas party, thanks to generous donations and local businesses.
Each year, deputies identify children in the community who otherwise would not receive much for Christmas, and they partner with Sanlan RV & Golf Resort to provide a catered lunch and distribute the gifts. In the past, the goal of this project was to provide at least 3 gifts per child. This year, thanks to an overwhelming outpouring of support from private citizens in our community, each child will receive at least 10 gifts or more, including much-needed school clothes, other clothes, shoes, toys, and gift cards.
"We cannot begin to express how grateful we are to the wonderful citizens and businesses who join us in this effort to provide Christmas cheer to children who might not otherwise have anything under their Christmas tree. We have always known that we live in the best county in the state, but these acts of kindness just reinforce that feeling. Merry Christmas, everyone." - Grady Judd, Sheriff
The gifts and food were purchased by the deputies, with funds provided by Polk Sheriff's Charities, Inc., Target Inc., K&K Nursery, Sanlan RV & Golf Resort, Toys 'R Us, Beef o' Brady's, Family Fun Center, Dairy Queen, and Walmart, along with private donations from citizens around the county.
The party will be held at the Sanlan RV & Golf Resort, located at 3929 Hwy 98 South in Lakeland. The children and their families will arrive at 11:00 a.m., where they will be treated to pulled pork, macaroni & cheese, cole slaw, baked beans, cookies, and drinks, provided by donations. There will be a PCSO K-9 demonstration, the PCSO Mounted Unit, and other PCSO static displays.
From 12:30 – 2:00 p.m., two volunteers, acting as Santa and Mrs. Claus, will help the COPS deputies hand out the gifts to the children.
The media is invited and encouraged to attend this annual event!