Cops Play Santa: Santa for Swanton Serves Local Needs
By Tech. Sgt. Annette Kornasiewicz, 180th Public Affairs
/ Published January 20, 2009
February 2009 -- On December 17th, local residents were able to provide their children a 'merrier' Christmas thanks to toys donated by 180th members at the 2nd annual Santa for Swanton event. Outside the McQuades Law Offices in Swanton, home of the Christian Food Pantry, Security Forces Squadron members gave away toys to about eighty families, along with bags of food donated by the Toledo Seagate Food Bank.
Tech. Sgt. Scott Batch, Security Forces member and organizer of the event, said the idea was born last year as he looked to serve the needs of the local community during the holiday season.
"There was a notably higher turnout this year of families in need," said Batch. "Everyone was very enthusiastic to see us."
SFS members handed out hundreds of new toys to Swanton residents. Master Sgt. Dave Polsdorfer, MOC, arrived with a car load of toys donated from the 180th members working in the hangar. Larger items were then raffled off to the waiting families, such as a CD player, skateboard and a boy's bike. A girl's bike, provided by Tech Sgt. Jason Kolcinski, SFS member, was raffled off as well.
Swanton Middle School Youth to Youth program ran a drive at their school, adding approximately 200 toys to the 200- 300 toys provided by the 180th members. Jennifer Bedee, wife of Master Sgt. Scott Bedee, SFS member, donated items collected
from her place of business, Reminger Co. L.P.A. In addition, Security Forces donated
$200 worth of canned goods to the Christian Food Pantry.
The drive was a welcomed event to Swanton area families judging by the turnout on that
snowy, cold morning.
"There were definitely more emergency situations this year," said Julie N. Gorrell, Legal
Secretary at McQuades. "There are lots of new people we have never served before - families that never planned on a layoff."
The Swanton Christian Food Pantry serves their community every 4th Wednesday of the month. There had been an approximately 25 percent increase in requests for aid to the pantry in recent months, said Gorrell. Along with the toys drive, SFS members gave out about 100 bags of food.
"It is something the residents have been asking about all year," said Gorrell.