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Planning Meeting Minutes

Shop with a Cop Committee Meeting on 11/12/2014 at 7 pm - Ritchie Brothers Conference Room

History of Event - 8 youths in 2012, 22 youths in 2013, $5700 - $350 ($125 per kid)

In attendance:

Jimmy Russell - MSP, Will Muller - CCSO, Joe Zurolo - R DSFM, Julianna Logan - CCSO, Julie Widdoes - Retired MSP, Debbie Prematta - Community Volunteer, Hope Russell - Community Volunteer, Bob Ward - Community Volunteer, Lloyd Rabuck, Jr. - Walmart NE, Mike Marine - Walmart NE, Dallas Herbert - RSPD, Laura Russell - Community Volunteer, Ron Prematta - MSP, Scott Adams - CCSO, Shannon Comley - Elkton Police, School Resource Officer, J. Fuller (not in attendance) - Elkton Police, Tammy Yates - Wayne Wright’s niece, Amy Yates - Wayne Wright's great niece, Cristal Wright - Wayne’s Daughter (not in attendance), Joe Coudon - MSP, Heather Coudon (not in attendance)

  • Event Date, Location & Time - Saturday Dec 13. Stage the North East Fire Hall at 9 am - greet families and hand out Officer/Child assignments. Travel North East Walmart at 10 am, shop till about 11:30, then back to fire department for wrapping and party.

  • Santa - Zurolo has costume and offered. Bob Ward has a contact that participated the first year, has a ’sleigh’ truck, Julie Widdowes offered up the option of Gerry’s cousin - Each is looking into the possibility of them being available to participate. No decision made tonight.

  • Location - Firehouse in NE - Bilton or Steve Yates(?) going to coordinate with NEFD to set aside the date and be the contact with the FD. Possible issues brought up regarding the transportation: Car seats, safety, etc. Discussed possible police escort with a school bus to transport the kids. Talked about the kids liking riding in the police cars, and Mike & Lloyd offered to help out with car seats if we needed them, they requested just a few days notice to pull it together. - Possibly shut down the roadway to ensure the safe transportation from kids from the NEFD to Walmart. First choice decided was transport in agency vehicles. Scott Adams was going to look into a bus as backup for transportation of kids and also for the gifts, etc.

  • Financing - Direct donors to write checks to the "Elkton FOP Lodge 124”. Shannon will be the contact point for delivering the checks to and the cash from the FOP lodge. They are NOT 501-3c, but neither is the Explorer post. So as of right now we cannot accept donations from places that require it to be a registered 501-3c non profit. We are still looking into a work-around for that. If more info becomes available, it will be sent to the group.

  • Who and How Old? - Heather Coudon can pull up the list of people and determine need, shelters. Referrals from within the departments of actual needy kids will also be considered and should be funneled through Heather. Age range agreed upon was 2-12. Initial cap set at 30 children. Will have Heather keep some on back burner for if we have excess funds. Aiming for an average of $250 - $300 for each kid of which $100 will be used for clothes. New families will be selected - not ones who we have helped in the past (no repeats). If you have any recommendations, contact Heather

  • Walmart donating Turkeys again for each family and also $1000 in gift cards. Perryville American Legion or Lion’s Club (? - Bob mentioned) has Food Drive funds that may be available for family meals. Believe Bob is looking into?

  • Agency volunteers - there is no maximum number of officers - all are welcome - and are encouraged to show up in Uniform. Headcount is requested of each agency just for planning purposes, but no one will be turned away at the door.

  • Gift Wrapping - Walmart donated tons of wrapping paper, tape, scissors, etc. (Coudon has it in his basement, will check to see what he has - and Walmart is stepping up to donate what we need)

  • Procedure - Last year, got little stockings and had name on the stocking - put gift cards and Name / Size info on an index card, as well as a number ID. Handed stocking to Officer for shopping. When they returned, all the gifts went into a plastic bag and gave bag and number to a Gift Wrapper. The entire set of stuff is assigned to that station and they wrap up all the gifts while the kids went to the Party. When they were ready to go, they went back to the table and picked up the bag of wrapped gifts and left. All agreed that this was a good process - no need to change what works. Hope/Laura will be looking into stockings and possible donation of the stockings.

  • Volunteers - National Honor Societies from High Schools, Explorers (15 expected). Family members of the officers. - Laura, Hope & Julie are on Committee for organizing the Wrapping

  • Food Donations - Steve Yates has already committed to getting pizzas from Bellas. Tammy Yates offered up probable donations from Wrights Deli, Lucky from Pats, etc. She is willing to help coordinate food donations. Lloyd will also talk to some of his vendors (Herrs or Utz for Chips, Coke for Sodas, etc.) about donations. All food donations should be at the North East Fire Hall by 11:30 am.

  • Gift Cards - Joe Coudon volunteered to help get the gift cards - Walmart needs 1 day’s heads-up and can get the gift cards in any donation we want. It was discussed that it is easier to manage larger donation cards than many smaller donation cards.

  • Monetary donations desired by 12/5/14 to allow time to figure number of kids, get the checks cashed and gift cards purchased.

  • Follow-up meeting scheduled for December 3rd at 7 pm at Walmart (go to Electronics, go through double door and conference area is on the left (Lloyd and Mike will be looking out for us).

  • WXCY - Walmart - Advertising the event - Debbie Prematta going to look into.

  • Each person needs to keep a list of who has donated and how much they donated. Also forward to Debbie to include donors on the website. There will also be a password-protected area where we can list the places we have contacted for donations so we don’t overlap. More info will be sent out on that part of the website soon.

I believe that covers the highlights of the meeting. If I left something off, or have incorrectly ‘volunteered’ someone for something, please let me know!


Debbie Prematta


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