CEDAR CITY – Every holiday season local law enforcement pull together to bring Christmas to dozens of local children during the annual “Shop With A Cop” event.
A special day for 100 Iron County children, the “Shop With A Cop” event is where the children get to spend time with police officers, firefighters and emergency medical responders.
The morning of the event, children and public safety officials congregate at Wal-Mart where they connect up and then head across town via Interstate 15 to Canyon View High School with sirens and lights blaring all the way. There, the group is served breakfast by the Lady Elks followed by a trip back to Wal-Mart, this time down Main Street but again with lights and sirens, for the traditional shopping spree and visit from Santa Claus.
Cedar City Police Department organizes the event, scheduled this year for Dec. 10. Officers work with the various law enforcement agencies in the area and multiple volunteers to raise the necessary $10,000 in order to give each child $100 to spend that morning.
To raise the money, public safety officials host several “Tip A Cop” events where they wait tables at area restaurants for several weekends during the months of November and December. The tips officers and others make during these shifts are all put towards meeting the $10,000 goal, Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack said.
While it’s a lot of money to raise, Womack said, somehow they always manage to do it. Sometimes with even some left over to give them a lead on next year’s event.
Cedar City Police held their first “Tip A Cop” effort Friday night at Applebee’s. Those waiting tables included several officers from CCPD and one deputy from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.
Cedar City Police Chief Darin Adams also pitched in by pulling a shift himself. Adams said he plans to do a few more in the coming weeks.
“I always try to do as many shifts as I can to help,” Adams said. “It’s for a worthy cause and it’s worth it when you see those children’s faces that morning.”
Womack also joined his fellow officers Friday at Applebee’s but rather than waiting tables, the sergeant played host by welcoming the public as they came in.
“I explain to people as they come in about the program and what we’re trying to do,” Womack said. “We ask that people still tip their servers but then we ask that if they can, to please tip the officer whatever they can afford.”
The turnout to Friday’s event was a little lower than officers had hoped, Womack said, however, it was still steady and he appreciated those who were there and willing to donate.
Womack asks that the community please come out and support their efforts in bringing Christmas to the children.
The dates and times for the rest of the “Tip A Cop” events are as follows:
- Friday, Nov. 11, at Wingers 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 18, at Chili’s 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 3, at Pizza Factory 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. (Note that this one is the only one on a Saturday.)
- Friday, Dec. 9, at Lupita’s 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
For more information on volunteering efforts or donations please contact Womack at the Cedar City Police Department: (435) 586-2956.
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