Cops for Kids Christmas Tree Sale begins Friday
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
As shoppers hit the stores to find gifts for friends and loved ones, they are encouraged to buy a freshly cut Christmas tree with the knowledge they are helping out youth and families in need for the holiday season.
The 24th annual Cops for Kids Christmas Tree Sale, a collaboration between area businesses and the Crawford County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, begins on Friday, Nov. 23, in the Grayling Kmart parking lot.
The Crawford County Deputy Sheriff’s Association consists of current and retired road patrol deputies and corrections officers from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
Last year, the sale was held at the future site of the Northern Market where ProBuild was formerly located. Due to the change, there was a decline in tree sales.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of people knew that we moved,” said Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Schnoor, president of the Crawford County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. “We’ve been at Kmart so long, we decided go back to that location.”
The association plans to sell approximately 150 to 175 trees, ranging in price from $25 to $40. The variety includes Scotch Pine, Blue Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Fraser Fir, and Douglas Fir.
The trees come from the Dutchman Tree Farm based in Manton.
The sale will be staffed on the weekends, to help customers load the trees into their vehicles or to tie them down. The hours will be 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“We’re hoping to have some guest appearances from Santa for kids that come out on the weekends,” Schnoor said.
During other times of the week, a drop box attached to a trailer by the trees will be available for customers to pay for their trees. The box is checked daily for donations. People can also pay for their tree at the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
Donations to Cops for Kids Christmas Tree Sale allows sheriff’s employees to take kids shopping just before Christmas.
“We really appreciate all of the community support,” Schnoor said. “We get a lot of donations from people and then with tree sales, the combination provides the monies to take the kids shopping.”
Deputies take the students shopping at the Grayling Kmart, when they go on winter vacation from school for the holidays. The kids are given an allowance of $110 to spend on needed items, and then for fun items for themselves and their families. The Grayling Kmart provides a 10 percent discount, which allows the students involved in the program to get the most bang for their buck at Christmas time.
Up to 25 children, from 10 to 12 families, are selected to take part in the Shop with a Cop program.
“The number of kids has grown over the years for the shopping purposes, which is great for us because that way we can take out more kids and help them out with their holiday seasons,” Schnoor said.
The Crawford County Deputy Sheriff’s Association works closely with the Crawford County Department of Human Services and the Crawford County Community Christian Help Center to help brighten the Christmas holiday for struggling families.
After the shopping excursion, the youngsters are treated to a luncheon at the Grayling Eagles Club. Pizza is provided by the Grayling Moose Lodge #1162 and Women of the Moose #827.
The Grayling Eagles Women’s Auxiliary donates huge food baskets for the children to take home.
Schnoor said all groups involved enjoy taking part in an effort to give back to the community for their support.
“It means a lot to all of us to be able to do this to give back to the community that we work for and work in, and to hopefully give a little bit of holiday spirit to kids and families that deserve it,” he said.