THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY
Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow, Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce President Michele Burgess and Chamber Events Coordinator Sandra Wilkerson appeared on WIZS’ Town Talk Tuesday at 11 a.m.
The community leaders discussed the 5th Annual “Shop With a Cop” fundraiser and event, a collaboration of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce, the Henderson Police Department and the Vance County Sheriff’s Office. The presenting sponsor is Maria Parham Health, with Toyota of Henderson serving as gold sponsor and Union Bank serving as silver sponsor.
Following the format of previous years, Wilkerson explained that 180 envelopes marked with dollar amounts from $1 to $180 are sold to participating businesses, organizations and community members. When all envelopes are sold, local law enforcement will receive $5,000 to take a group of Vance County’s disadvantaged youth Christmas shopping at Walmart.
The H-V Chamber also benefits from the fundraiser’s proceeds by using the remaining funds to initiate new programs and enhance value to Chamber member businesses, said Burgess.
Barrow said the bond formed between the children and law enforcement officers extends beyond the shopping day itself. “It forms some lasting relationships; the kids remember us and we remember them. It gives us the opportunity to get to know some of the parents. It also helps bridge some of the gaps we see.”
Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame was unavailable for the Town Talk segment but did indicate in a separate written statement to WIZS that he is “honored to participate in such a worthy cause.”
While all law enforcement officers enjoy the experience each year, Barrow said no one has a better time than the sheriff. “I think Curtis gets more excited than anybody else – sometimes more than the kids. The sheriff was the life of the party last year. If you don’t know him, you should, but I think almost everyone in Vance County does know him.”
In addition to bringing joy to local children, contributors will have their name entered into a drawing for cash prizes. Those donating $1-$40 will be entered to win $200; $41-$80 will be entered to win $500; $81-$120 will be entered to win $1,000. Those contributing $121-$180 will be eligible for the grand prize of $2,000.
MPH CEO Bert Beard told WIZS that the hospital serves as the presenting sponsor of the annual fundraiser in support of the community’s overall health. “At Maria Parham Health, we recognize our mission of making communities healthier extends beyond providing care at our hospital and clinic sites. This ideal is no more evident than in our partnership with law enforcement and the Chamber to benefit our youth through Shop with a Cop.”
The kick-off for this year’s event will be held on Tuesday, September 22 at 10 a.m. in the Maria Parham Health Rehab Center Board Room. After the official kick-off, tickets will be available for purchase through October 27. With questions or to purchase tickets, please stop by the H-V Chamber office located at 414 S. Garnett St. in downtown Henderson or call (252) 438-8414.
“It’s a simple fundraiser, but the benefits are massive,” said Burgess. “The end result is incredible when you see the kids and know that they are going to have a wonderful holiday season.”
Next week, WIZS will talk to additional “Shop With A Cop” participants on Town Talk including representatives from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Vance County Department of Social Services, Vance County Animal Services and the Vance-Granville Community College Police Department.
To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.