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Posted On: 2018-01-02 07:42 PM
From White Mountain Independent...
By Laura Singleton The Independent
How do you get 12 Christmas stockings to turn into 68 Christmas stockings?
It's so easy, it's almost magical.
All you have to do is let people know that the stockings are gifts of appreciation for members of local law enforcement.
This is how Kristi Davis of Lakeside created the first White Mountain "Adopt-A-Cop" event.
Davis, wife of a Pinetop-Lakeside police officer, knows first hand what it means to be in law enforcement. As such, she decided to find a way to publicly demonstrate the high level of respect, appreciation and love that the community has for these individuals.
Davis explained her motivation for creating "Adopt-A-Cop" — to show gratitude for those that do a dangerous job with courage, unwavering dedication and true responsibility.
"Our small community has had a rough year and has done a tremendous job showing support in times of crisis. My hope is to show the departments that we stand behind all of them in good times, not just when a crisis arises," said Davis.
"I watch these officers make sacrifices every day — giving up time with their families because every department is understaffed so they must work overtime.
"I watch them lose benefits and not receive pay raises because the towns and cities are in a budget crunch."
When The Independent asked her how Sequoia Village School became involved, Davis explained, "I originally was just going to do Pinetop PD because I know all of the officers. Then my friend, Heather Gray, (a teacher at Sequoia Village School), said the whole school would be willing to participate. So, I thought maybe I could recognize more than just Pinetop-Lakeside police department."
I talked with several other friends to see if they would be willing to help and they said yes. At that point, I decided we would shoot for 50 officers ... All told we have 'adopted' 68 officers."
The final presentation took place on Monday, Dec. 18 at 8 a.m. in the Sequoia Village School auditorium. Students from K-12 attended the presentation.
"The kids really got into it. They stuffed stockings and colored thank you cards before, during and after school," said Principal Mindy Savoia.
Savoia and the entire Sequoia Village Administration were just as excited as the student body when it came time to present the officers with their Christmas stockings. "It's so important for us to have community partnerships and we hope to be involved in many more like this," added Savoia.
Sequoia Village teachers Heather Gray and Kristen Orton worked behind the scenes with Davis.
"It was such a blessing for the children to be able to do this for the officers. They were so happy and so proud to be able to share this," Gray said.
When The Independent asked Davis if she had plans for future Adopt-A-Cop events, she said she hopes to include other jurisdictions and departments next year, adding to Navajo County Sheriff's Dept., Pinetop-Lakeside PD and Show Low PD.
Davis was overwhelmed with positive response as she visited local businesses asking for goodies to include in the Adopt-A-Cop stockings. Having said that, she wanted to make it known that the community was incredibly generous.
She relayed special thanks to Show Low Mayor Daryl Seymore for purchasing the commemorative coins.
Also, co-worker, Barbara Bruce of Navopache Electric Cooperative wrote "Honor the Fallen" poem which was read during the presentation by Sequoia teacher and retired Los Angeles, Calif., Deputy, Michael Pettit.
Guy Hatch of Show Low Ford donated all of the Thin, Blue Line stainless-steel coffee mugs.
Last but not least, said Davis, over 25 local restaurants donated gifts cards of various amounts.
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