POMEROY, Ohio — Each year, first responders shop with children to select Christmas gifts in a program known as Shop with a Cop.
Meigs County’s event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 4 with the day beginning with breakfast at Kountry Resort Campground for the chosen participants. Following breakfast, the kids board buses and head to Walmart in Mason,W.Va., where they will be partnered with a first responder to shop.
The trip includes the Light Parade of first responder vehicles through Pomeroy, Ohio, with seven-year-old Will Wallace, a Coolville Elementary student as the 2021 Grand Marshal. Wallace spent the past year collecting donations for Shop with a Cop, and according to Sheriff Keith Wood, did it all on his own.
“Will wanted to be part of Shop with a Cop,” Wood said. “He took it upon himself to collect $800 in donations, it was his idea, and he did it all on his own, so we are honoring his efforts by naming him Grand Marshal.”
Fundraising efforts directed by Loyalty is Forever to support this year’s program included a Quilt drawing, No Shave VS. Shave November and December, as well as community donations.
Loyalty is Forever’s Lori Miller said this event is a partnership with Meigs County first responders that includes the Sheriff’s Office, Pomeroy and Syracuse police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Meigs EMS.
“We are so excited, and want to help make sure everyone understands this is quite a partnership,” Miller said. “It takes a lot of people to do this.”
Sheriff Wood echoed her comments, and added that he hopes the program shows people they can make a difference in the lives of children in the county with their donations.
“This program impacts a lot of families in Meigs County,” Wood said. “It motivates us, the first responders, and our community partners to keep this event going. We hope it will encourage others to donate, knowing they can make a difference. “
For those who would like to come out in support of the first responders, the parade will leave the Kountry Resort and Campground around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Donations to Shop with a Cop can be made throughout the year by contacting Loyalty is Forever’s Lori Miller and Tina Richards, and the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.