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Deputies play St. Nick

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Tim Slone was tired on Saturday, Dec. 3, but he didn’t let a little lost snoozing keep him away from the annual Grant County Shop With A Cop trip.

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“I love to see the kids eyeing the toys,” Slone, a deputy with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, said. “I think this event is good for the community and it gives these kids a chance to get things they might not have gotten.”

Sixteen children were selected for the 2011 Shop With A Cop program. Money for the annual event comes from a golf scramble and donations. A few businesses, like Allen’s Country Store in Corinth, raise money to help pay for a child to participate.

“This was awesome and I want to do it again,” said Anthony, an 11 year old.

Anthony was quick to choose not only presents for himself but also for his mother and sister.

“I wanted to make sure they would have something to open on Christmas,” he said. “It’s not fair that I got to go and they didn’t. I’m not selfish.”

Anthony’s prize possession was a black hat.

“I like that hat,” Slone told Anthony.

“He so gets me,” Anthony said.

Sgt. Terry Osborne helped Ronnie choose gifts, but Ronnie knew what he wanted long before he made it to the toy aisle.

Ronnie spied a shiny red fire truck almost as big as he was when he walked into the door at Dry Ridge Wal-Mart.

“I want this one,” he said, waiting for Osborne to get a cart.

For Deputy Brian Maines, this was the seventh year, he’s volunteered to help with Shop With A Cop.

“I enjoy watching the kids and seeing their expressions,” Maines said. “Them picking out what they want and going home so happy that’s the best part.”

Will, age 9, shopped with Maines. He was so proud of his Skyrim Xbox game.

“I really wanted this for Christmas,” he said.

For Adam Walters, a deputy at the Grant County Detention Center, the shopping experience was a first, but one he said he would do again.

“It’s been very uplifting,” Walters said. “It gives you satisfaction of knowing that I could help someone else around the holidays.”

Malachi, 7, didn’t know what he wanted when he got to Wal-Mart, but by the time he left, he had a whole cart of Pokemon cards and four new shirts.

“This was fun,” he said.

Grant County Sheriff Chuck Dills said between $250 and $300 was spent on each child.

Wal-Mart gives a discount and makes a donation to the program and Edwardo's Pizza provides a free lunch.

Half the money is usually spent on clothes, with the remainder being spent on games and toys.

School personnel choose which children will participate. Police officers are given the name of the child they will be partnered with. The officers pick up the child in their cruisers and take them out for a morning of shopping.

"We couldn't do this without the support of the community,î Dills said. "People and businesses are what make this happen year after year."