NORTH RIDGEVILLE — For the past three years, North Ridgeville police officers have helped drum up support for the annual “Cops and Kids Raffle” sponsored by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25 in Westlake.
This year, North Ridgeville officers raised more money — $2,950 — than any of the 14 other Lorain and Cuyahoga County police departments taking part in the yearly holiday fundraiser designed to give deserving children a Christmas outing complete with presents and other goodies.
The event will be Saturday and looks to benefit 100-some children, including an expected dozen or so whose North Ridgeville families receive help through the local Community Care organization.
“With a policeman for every kid, plus other people who help, we have some 300 to 400 all together,” North Ridgeville police Lt. Tony Lee said.
The day sees each child and accompanying police officer go Christmas shopping at the North Olmsted Wal-Mart with $125 for each child. Funds were raised through an FOP raffle plus donations.
The bulk of North Ridgeville’s nearly $3,000 came from Royalton Industries, a Columbia Station engineering company that donated $2,000, according to Lee. The firm donated $1,500 last year.
“The family that runs the firm lives in North Ridgeville,” Lee said. “The really neat thing is that they approached us, we didn’t solicit them. They simply wanted to help local families in need and liked the way the program is run.”
The next largest sum raised came from the Lakewood Police Department, which contributed $2,700, Lee said.
Money for gift cards provided for each child also comes from the North Olmsted Wal-Mart.
The event also involves police in Avon and Avon Lake, Sheffield Lake and Sheffield as well as departments in Cuyahoga County including North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls, Westlake, Bay Village, Fairview Park and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.
“We have about 10 guys who take part,” Lee said of the North Ridgeville police force, whose participating officers are expected to take 12 to 16 local youngsters shopping Saturday. “Last year we only had seven, so this is a good year.”
The day starts with a restaurant breakfast followed by shopping and a catered pizza lunch at North Olmsted High School.
“We set it up so everybody gets a door prize, which can range from a bike to an XBox to smaller items,” Lee said.