Sgt. Phil Shepard, Ardmore Fraternal Order of Police President, said the annual holiday Shop With Cops project has drawn 500 applications this year.
"Right now we are going over all the applications," Shepard said. "We hope to begin notifying those children selected for the program by the end of the week."
Each child selected for the 2012 Shop With Cops will be given $100 to spend anyway they wish. But the money isn't all the children receive. Each child is accompanied by their own "personal cop shopper," who drives them to and from the shopping spree in a real police car, with lights flashing and sirens screaming, and accompanies them while they shop.The festivities also includes a pre-shopping Christmas party at City Hall.
"This year Blessings Bakery is helping us with the party by providing cookies and cupcakes," Shepard said, adding other volunteers including the FOP Auxiliary also assist in making Shop With Cops a memory that the children will have for a lifetime.
Shop With Cops will be Dec. 10-11. This year, as in the past, the focus of the project is providing deserving children with a Christmas they would not otherwise have, Shop With Cops also has another purpose. The event helps officers establish and build positive relationships with children in the community.
The project is funded by donations, the Shop With Cops Rodeo and for the second year proceeds from Ardmore Main Street's Parade of Lights will benefit the project. The parade is Tuesday evening following the Christmas Tree Lighting in Central Park.
Those wishing to make a contribution to this year's Shop With Cops should drop off their contribution at Ardmore Police Department headquarters at City Hall or by calling (580) 223-1212.