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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Police take youth Christmas shopping

  • The feelings of the 14 children and teen-agers who were taken on a Christmas shopping trip for their families (and themselves) Saturday, Dec. 7, by local police officers were expressed by one girl who was heard saying, "Yeeess! I've got stuff for my family!"
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  • The feelings of the 14 children and teen-agers who were taken on a Christmas shopping trip for their families (and themselves) Saturday, Dec. 7, by local police officers were expressed by one girl who was heard saying, "Yeeess! I've got stuff for my family!"
    Sgt. Jennifer Grote reported she heard this as the children were in line checking out at Walmart, where the officers were taking them individually to do their shopping.
    Jacob Nacke, president of Missouri Lodge No. 20 of the Fraternal Order of Police (and a detective with the Hannibal Police Department) was coordinating the event.
    Nacke explained the local Fraternal Order of Police sponsors the shopping trip each year. Lodge No. 20 includes officers from Hannibal, Palmyra and La Grange.
    As the group shopped, Grote helped Judah Noel select gifts for six or seven family members, as well clothing for himself. Judah found a "Duck Dynasty" shirt and pajamas for himself. Judah said he was successful in finding toys and other gifts for his family.
    During the shopping trip, a 7-year-old being assisted by Cpl. Darrin DeLaPorte said he was buying for his brothers and sister, parents and other "special people."
    Sgt. Jason Locke was taking 15-year-old Steven Parker shopping. Steven was buying gifts for five people, reporting his sister also was in the group shopping, so they had divided their family members before buying the gifts.
    Steven was happy to find a "Call of Duty" sweatshirt for himself, along with the gifts for his family.
    The shopping trip is a special privilege given to children "who do good in school," said Deann Hess, child services supervisor of the Children's Division of the Missouri Division of Social Services.
    She and another staff member, Courtney Hirstein, were helping the children shop.
    Later the group was taken to Hannibal Middle School in an HPD van, where they wrapped the gifts, then were treated to a pizza lunch.
    As he wrapped gifts, Judah Noel said it was the first time he had wrapped presents.
    With the children and their officer friends busy wrapping gifts, Nacke reported, "the kids had good ideas about what to get for people.
    "We are real grateful to the people who donate to us and help us out. It can be expensive," he added.
    Nacke said the police organization has one main fund-raiser each year, "the softball game against the firefighters. ... We used that money. It's our biggest fund-raiser."
    Donations for this Christmas shopping project may be mailed to Box 771, Hannibal, Mo., or given to Nacke through the police department.
    Lyndell Davis, Hannibal chief of police, and his wife, Lt. Cathy Davis, were among the officers helping the children shop.
    Chief Davis said the Fraternal Order of Police has done this for a number of years, and "I'm appreciative and proud of the officers who take their own time and come out and do this. It's a good representation of the department and the type of people they are."
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