A group of Lynn Camp Elementary students were among 22 from across Knox County chosen to shop for $120 worth of new clothes, shoes and toys Thursday courtesy of Kentucky State Police Post 10, which serves Knox, Bell and Harlan counties.
Trooper Shane Jacobs, public affairs officer at Post 10, said students from Lynn Camp, Dewitt and Flat Lick elementary schools in Knox County were chosen to take part in the program now in its eighth year.
The Knox County students were brought to Walmart in Barbourville Thursday morning where troopers and support personnel from Post 10 helped them shop for the items.
“We pick the schools and then contact teachers at those schools,” Jacobs said noting different schools in each county are selected each year.
“These kids know their kids, and they know the most needy kids that need this program,” Jacobs said.
After completing their shopping, the students were taken to Forcht Bank in Barbourville where they were treated to a lunch of pizza.
“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Marion Forcht, who takes part in the event each year, helping the children shop and helping Santa Claus give out additional gifts at the bank.
“It is so nice to have all of you here,” Mrs. Forcht told the children and troopers.
As a token of appreciation to Mrs. Forcht for her support, KSP Arson Investigator Josh “Spanky” Bunch, who is also a professional artist, presented her with an original artwork featuring a landscape and community church.
Bunch used aluminum slated to be used in the construction of a fire truck, and coal mined in eastern Kentucky in creating the artwork.
“I wanted to give Mrs. Forcht something that is meaningful,” Bunch said.
The students were in for one last surprise.
As they went downstairs to load on the buses to return to school, the students were greeted with a room full of new bicycles.
“This is the kids’ day,” Jacobs said. “It is about them having a great day.”
Jacobs said the state police post conducts various fundraisers throughout the year to fund the event. In addition, businesses, organizations and individuals make donations.
“We are very grateful and thankful to those that have just absolutely stepped in and wanted to help,” Jacobs said adding that all donations, and proceeds from fundraisers held by Post 10 are used to help the children in the Post 10 area.
Donations are already being accepted for the 2020 event.
They may be sent to:
KSP Post 10 in Harlan
3319 Hwy. 421
Harlan, KY 40831
Checks may be made out to Post 10 Shop With a Trooper.
The more money we raise, the more kids we can take,” Jacobs said noting when the first Post 10 Shop With a Trooper was held in 2011, 30 children benefited.
“It is a total community effort,” Jacobs said.