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Springfield getting own Shop With a Cop event

11/15/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Police Department is organizing a local effort of the Shop With a Cop program this year.

The annual event includes police officers from all over Northeast Ohio donating their time to take selected children to a Wal-Mart in Stow to shop for their families for the holidays. For the first time, the effort also will take place at the South Arlington Road Wal-Mart in Springfield, according to an announcement made at the Springfield Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 8.

Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police (VASP) Coordinator Linda Denton said at the meeting the local effort, organized by Springfield Police Officer Mike McQuillen, will include police departments in Springfield (and Lakemore, since it contracts its services through Springfield), New Franklin (and Clinton, since it contracts through New Franklin), Mogadore, Uniontown, The University of Akron and possibly Hartville. The event is slated to take place Dec. 15.

“We have talked about this for several years,” said McQuillen. “We have wanted to keep the funds spent within the township. This year, we are keeping it small, but we hope next year other departments in southern Summit County will be able to join.”

McQuillen said this year’s event will include about 80 children. The effort will begin with a breakfast of donuts, milk and juice at the Maranatha Bible Church, leave to form a parade and head to the Wal-Mart at about 9 a.m., and after shopping, the children will go back to the church, which will host a pizza party lunch. The children also will get help wrapping gifts they purchase.

Denton, who is assisted by Kim Griffin in the effort, explained funds for the children’s shopping experience are raised through the sale of raffle tickets available from participating police departments and Wal-Mart, which has organized a competition for employees to encourage selling the tickets. The tickets also will be sold at the Springfield Police Department’s Fill-A-Cruiser events (see below for details).

Raffle prizes will include: an iPad 2, a 32-inch LCD TV, $200 cash and $100 cash. Tickets cost $1 each or six for $5.

Denton also presented a report on the lake patrol provided by VASP this summer on Springfield Lake, which includes Springfield on one side and Lakemore on the other. Denton said the VASP logged a total of 163 hours during its patrol of the lake this year. That service, started after a number of complaints related to safety issues were brought to a trustees’ meeting in 2011, included issuing 69 warnings to boaters for violations of various kinds, five tows and 29 vessel inspections.

In other business, Trustee Deborah Davis asked residents to break down cardboard boxes left in the green and yellow recycle bin in order to preserve space. The bin also is for paper such as newspapers, magazines, phone books and hardback books. Pizza boxes should not be discarded in the bin, she added,

In addition, Davis said the red recycle bin is for glass, metal cans and plastic containers, but not vinyl siding, toys, metal chairs, car parts or appliances. Davis said the boxes are monitored by video cameras and violators could face prosecution.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved:

• a payment not to exceed $12,330 to Maranatha Fence Co. for the construction of six dugouts at the Joint Economic Development District Park Sports Complex on Pickle Road;

• the wiring portion of the township telephone system to VoIP by J&J ETC Inc. at a cost not to exceed $4,804; and

• the purchase of a sign and mounting poles for Lauer Park from the Bright Ideas Shop for an amount not to exceed $1,600.

Other announcements included:

√ Fill-A-Cruiser events will take place Nov. 23-24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the South Arlington Road Wal-Mart and Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Canton Road/state Route 224 Speedway gas station. The event collects new toys, nonperishable food items and cash donations for families in need in the Lakemore and Springfield areas.

√ Santa will arrive by train at the Vincent J. Mealy Memorial Gazebo, located on Canfield Road in front of the township offices, 2459 Canfield Road, for the township’s Christmas tree lighting event Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. The community is invited.

Trustees adjourned into executive session to discuss the employment of a public employee and review labor negotiations. No further action was taken, according to township officials.

During a special Nov. 1 meeting, trustees approved the following repairs and payments: $1,044 to Calcom for the building security system; $1,589 to Stuver Auto Spring for a road department dump truck; and $4,000 for a fire department engine; as well as an order of $2,556 for EMS supplies.

The next trustees’ meeting has been moved to Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 2459 Canfield Road, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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