By Traci Chapman
Several local children will have a merry Christmas, Mustang Police Department’s Shop with an Officer – and that effort is getting a boost Saturday, as Masons Lodge 407 hosts a breakfast designed to raise funds.
The annual event partners department members with area students, this year about 14 of them, Chief Rob Groseclose said Monday. Students are determined by Mustang School District counselors to have a situation that might make it difficult for their family to fully celebrate the special holiday.
Students spend a good part of a day with officers and other MPD staff members, having a special breakfast, shopping for presents at Mustang Walmart and then returning to the police department to wrap their presents and enjoy some pizza.
Mustang Masons Lodge 407 has been a longtime collaborator in the effort, providing not only cash donations to help fund presents, but also breakfast and access to Masons’ Briscoe museum, a favorite with the children taking part. This Saturday, the organization will host a country breakfast aimed at helping provide funds to purchase presents and other necessary items.
“We always enjoy taking part in this event – it’s one of those all of us just thoroughly get a kick out of and it’s such a great, great thing these officers and the department in general does for the kids,” Mason Bill McCormack said.
Several other groups, including Mustang High School FCCLA, National Society and Student Council joined longtime helpers from the Rainbow Girls to help wrap presents. Rainbow Girls is part of the benevolent work of Mustang Masons Lodge.
Students are given funds with which to purchase gifts for themselves and their families, developing a list before they go shopping, which they can refer to with officers as they move throughout the store.
Since Groseclose took MPD’s helm, Shop with an Officer has expanded to help sometimes twice as many children as previous years’ efforts. Last Christmas season – the chief’s second in Mustang – Groseclose watched children and officers searching for gifts at Mustang Walmart with a smile, reflecting on how special the events was, not only for students but everyone involved.
“We are so lucky to be able to interact with the community in such a way, to be able to see what a different this makes for these kids – and their families – and for all of us, as well,” he said. “It’s one of those things we all look forward to through the year.”
Saturday’s breakfast is scheduled for 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. The cost is $5, which includes a country breakfast that features scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, grits, biscuits and gravy and pancakes.
Mustang Masons Lodge 407 is located at 406 E. state Highway 152. More information can be found online at http://mustangmasons.org/wp/, on the group’s Facebook page, located at https://www.facebook.com/MustangMasons/ or by calling 405-256-6310.