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Colleton cops, firefighters make kids’ dreams come true in annual shopping spree

On Saturday morning, the holiday wishes of more than 30 local and underprivileged children were granted when they walked through the aisles of Wal-Mart and picked out their own Christmas toys, clothes, bikes, school supplies, and shoes.
The annual “Shop with Santa’s Heroes” event was held at Walterboro’s Wal-Mart. The event partners law enforcement officers and firefighters and paramedics from many area agencies with children in Colleton County who are in need. Some of the local children who participate in this holiday shopping spree are selected by officials with the Colleton County Department of Social Services (DSS). Others were chosen by different community service groups, all of which help children who are in need.
In all, 34 children participated in Saturday’s event.
“It was the most we have ever had, the most children, the most participation from our law enforcement community and the most money we have raised,” said Lt. Amye Stivender, spokeswoman for the Walterboro Police Department.
According to Stivender, the leaders of area agencies also participated this year, making the special. These leaders include Walterboro Police Chief Wade Marvin, newly-appointed Colleton County Sheriff Charles Ghent and Colleton County Fire-Rescue Director/Chief Barry McRoy.
Throughout the year, law enforcement agencies work to raise money to pay for the shopping spree. Each child can spend a set of amount, set by those who orchestrate the event. In addition, Wal-Mart offers a special discount to the children who participate in this event.
The annual “Shop with Santa’s Heroes” is organized by the Walterboro Police Department, whose officers also fundraise to pay for the entire event.
According to Stivender, approximately $6,540 was raised by Walterboro police officers for this year’s event. This year, the Walterboro Police Department raised more money than anticipated. Because of this, the agency was able to help more children than ever before, she said.
In all, personnel from six agencies participated in Saturday’s event. Those agencies included the WFD, the WPD, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Colleton County Fire-Rescue, S.C. Highway Patrol and S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

These agencies met before 7 a.m. on Saturday and escorted the chosen children to Wal-Mart. The escort came with sirens, police cars and fire trucks. By 7:15 a.m., the officers and the children were at Wal-Mart to begin shopping.
Santa Claus also arrived at Wal-Mart via helicopter. This was orchestrated by Colleton County Fire-Rescue, said Stivender.
“This is one of our favorite events of the year,” said Barry McRoy, director and chief of Colleton County Fire-Rescue. McRoy said about eight CCFR firemen and paramedics participated in the Saturday event.
Following the shopping spree, the children were taken to breakfast, provided courtesy of Burger King.

Heather Walters (1678 Posts)