Fraternal Order of Police brings Christmas cheer

John P. Cleary | The Herald BulletinAnderson Fraternal Order of Police provided Christmas gifts for 80 children during the annual Cops & Kids program at Meijer in 2017. Anderson police officer CJ Christian shows Carson Edmonds, 2, a train as Carson tries to decide which toy to choose, in this 2017 file photo.

ANDERSON — For close to four decades, members of the Anderson Fraternal Order of Police have been providing Christmas for needy children through their Cops & Kids Program.

Last year they raised $13,000 to provide Christmas for 80 local youngsters. Each child could spend $125 at the local Meijer store.

Mike Lee, president of the FOP, said donations this year are expected to exceed the funds raised for 2017.

"Fundraising is going well," he said. "'No shave November' by police officers raised $1,400."

Anderson Police Chief Tony Watters was challenged by the members of the police department to raise $2,000 for the Cops & Kids program.

Lee said Meijer, the Ed Martin dealerships, Prairie Farms and Precision Strip of Anderson have contributed to the effort.

Bradley Greve, utility trainer at Precision Strip, said Wednesday the company and employees want to give back to the community.

“We had the Anderson Police Department give active shooter training at our location and we decided to support the Cops & Kids program,” he said. “We will continue to support the program in the future.”

Greve said in 2017 the company and employees provided $2,600 and the hope is to double the amount this year. As of last week, he said, Precision Strip has raised $4,100.

“Our other facilities are active in their local communities,” Greve said.

Lee said the children taking part in the program were selected by the Madison County Department of Child Services.

Donations can be made at the Anderson Police Department. Checks should be made out to Cops & Kids FOP 48.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

​Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

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Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.