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Lake Villa police will treat 60 kids to Christmas shopping

Updated: January 9, 2013 6:04AM

Lake Villa police officers will take 60 kids shopping at the Round Lake Beach Walmart on Dec. 13 after they treat participants to a pizza party and a visit from Santa.

“This year we are holding it at our lovely downtown Metra Station which will be decorated for Christmas,” said Detective Rochelle Tisinai, explaining the setting is more suitable than the police station for kids to visit with Santa and enjoy a pizza party before their shopping trip.

Tisinai said the children ages 6 to 13 who participate in the program are recommended by the schools and identified as members of local families in financial need.

“Many of these kids would not receive Christmas gifts so the officers really enjoy taking them shopping,” she said. “In the past, a child’s mother just passed away and the father did not have a job so the Shop with a Cop program gave the kids Christmas gifts that they otherwise would not have received.”

This year, the children will be transported in a donated school bus decorated by Lakes Community High School art students, which will be escorted to the store by the department’s Humvee and a contingent of police cars.

“The kids are going to love it. We’re really going to send them off in style,” said Police Chief Ron Roth.

He lauded the community for donating enough money to this year’s program to provide $100 shopping trips for more than 60 kids. “But it is not unusual for our officers to dig into their own pockets to provide more gift for the families most in need,” said Roth.

Officers, office staff, spouses and Lake Villa queens help with the program. “We have 100 percent participation in our department,” said Roth.

One officer will shop with each family if there is more than one child in a family, but most of the kids will receive exclusive one-on-one time with the officers while they shop, said Tisinai.

“This is an enjoyable experience both for the kids, police officers, and police staff who are a great help,” she said.

“Our officers see first-hand just how our current economy has made times tough. They see families are suffering and they want to make Christmas brighter for some of these kids who are suffering,” said Roth.

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