The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

December 10, 2012

Comfort and joy spread through ‘Shop with a Cop’

CLINTON — Saturday might have been the best day of JoEllen Weimerskirch's life, the 6-year-old Charlotte resident said. 

She spent the morning shopping, wrapping presents, meeting Santa and having fun with 25 police officers and volunteers as part of the annual Shop with a Cop event.  

The event, which is organized by the Clinton Citizens Police Academy Alumni, is in its fifth year. This year, 27 children were given $100 gift cards each to spend on Christmas presents for family members and themselves at either Walmart or Target while being accompanied by police officers from Clinton, Camanche, Fulton, Ill., Clinton County or a volunteer with the CCPA.  

“The biggest reason to do this is to watch the joy of the kids,” CPAA member Connie Brashaw said.  “To see their smiles is worth it all.”

Children were selected by Clinton police officer Shane Haskell, who is the school resource officer at Washington Middle School. He has been involved in the event for three years with similar motives as Brashaw.  

“We do it to make Christmas brighter for the community,” Haskell said. “It's the true meaning of Christmas to see a child smile.”

Clinging to her new doll, “Ella,” Weimerskirch helped volunteer Lisa Millman wrap the presents she had purchased for her brothers and parents.

“This doll is my whole life,” she said as she combed Ella's shiny blonde hair.

Millman has been volunteering for the event for three years. She teared up looking at Weimerskirch smiling.

“She was kissing the box the whole ride here,” Millman said. “This is my favorite day of the whole year.”

The event is possible because of donations received by various community groups.  This year children from Clinton along with one each from Fulton, Camanche and Clinton County are selected depending on how much money is available.  Last year 21 children shopped with a cop, including some from DeWitt.  However, because of growth in the program, DeWitt was able to sponsor its own event.  

Children and law enforcement filled the aisles of Target and Walmart on Saturday morning searching for gifts on their wishlists.  

A pair of brightly colored knee-high tennis shoes made their way home with 7-year-old Amelia Gomez, of Clinton. Her shopping buddy, Clinton police officer Dean Ottens, showed off the eye-catching footwear to the rest of the group while they enjoyed treats in Target.  

“I've done the event before and every time it's wonderful,” Ottens said.

After purchasing their items, the group headed back to Bluff Elementary School for present wrapping, pizza eating and visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Tyreke Foster, 8, of Clinton, and his partner, Clinton police officer Dan Sager, wrapped the action figures and other presents Foster purchased for his family members.

“This is the best Christmas of my life,” Foster said.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 18, 2014

  • Taylorville couple wins $20M lotto jackpot

    A Taylorville couple has celebrated winning a more than $20 million Illinois Lottery drawing.

    Steve and Wilma Durbin were presented with their winning check Thursday afternoon at a grocery store in the central Illinois city where they purchased the ticket. The couple took a lump sum payment of $8.1 million after taxes.

    The Taylorville Breeze-Courier reports the Durbins hit the jackpot in the April 10 Illinois Lotto drawing. That was just two weeks after they were married.

    April 17, 2014

  • Branstad signs school radon bill into law

    The Iowa Department of Education must gather information from schools about whether they are testing for radon gas under a bill Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law.

    Branstad signed the bill Thursday to require school districts to tell the department about radon testing by the end of this year. The department must then report to the Legislature by January.

    April 17, 2014

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    April 17, 2014

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections.

    Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video