POSTED AUGUST 16, 2019
By Carlee Barnett
News Star Reporter
On August 13, the Paoli Police Department held a Spaghetti Fundraising Dinner and Raffle in the Paoli Public Schools Cafeteria. The event was held on the same night that students and parents could meet the teachers.
The purpose of the fundraiser was to help provide the money for the equipment needed for the Paoli Police Department to safely and effectively do their job, as well as providing the money for the program known as “Shop with A Cop” that the Police Department puts on during the month of December each year.
The Shop with a Cop program selects four children in second through fifth grade to participate. The students are selected through a process of reviewing letters students wrote about why they or their classmates should be chosen for the program. Written recommendations from teachers are also considered.
Once selected, the four children go on a $200.00 shopping trip at Walmart, with one of Paoli Police Officers as their shopping companion.
During this shopping trip, the students are allowed to purchase absolutely anything they want (unless a parent states otherwise). They can buy gifts for their family, friends, or themselves.
“I remember that last year one student bought steaks for his family because he wanted steak for Christmas dinner,” recalls Paoli Chief of Police, Dustin Cook. “The purpose of this program is to give back to the community, as well as show the kids that police officers are not bad people. We are here to help them and want them to come to us if they are ever in trouble.”
The spaghetti dinner fundraiser was the brainchild of two of the police officer’s wives, Lauren Cook and Tara Hutchings.
“Lauren and Tara figured out what to cook and prepared it with the assistance of Paoli Town Mayor Juanita Mata,” said Dustin. “Without their vision and help, the fundraiser wouldn’t have happened and they deserve a big ‘thank-you’!”
The spaghetti dinner was a great success and the Paoli Police Department plans to have it again next year.