There are some local children who will be able to have an unexpected happy Christmas, thanks in part to donations provided through the Southington Police Department's Third Annual Stuff-A-Cruiser event this past Saturday at the on Queen Street.
“This is the third year we have held this event at Wal-Mart and it has been a success each year," said Officer Michael Kahn, who approached his captain three years earlier with this idea.
“The captain gave his instant support, each year the donations have increased in 2009 we were able to stuff eleven cruisers, in 2010 eighteen cruisers were filled and in 2011 we hope to increase that number.”
Kahn, who was celebrating his birthday, along with Sgt. Lowell DePalma and other off duty oolice and Police Explorer’s braved the frigid air to children in need. Many cars drove up just to jump out and make donations to the swat truck that has taken the place of the cruisers from past years.
One young girl informed her mother “Mom, that is the real Santa Clause!”
“How do you know?” her mother asked.
Without missing a beat the daughter said “why else would there be so many Police Officers Protecting Him?”
Others hand off bags to Santa’s Elves as they leave the Walmart parking lot. Dr. Jeffery Kahn and wife Kathy Kahn donated a cart full of Christmas cheer to the children.
“We are fortunate and want to help the children that aren’t able to get anything for Christmas; we want to make children smile,” Jeffrey Kahn said.
The Police Explorers were also out in force handing out stickers to the children and helping collect gifts from the patrons. Overall the event was a great success, police said.
“It is a very humbling experience so many people came out to donate,” Kahn said. Hopefully this is one event that becomes a permanent tradition in Southington."