FOP Lodge 16 Hosts Back-to-School Event and Helps Provide Shoes for Local Students

About 100 local students were able to get a new pair of shoes on Sunday evening thanks to the annual back-to-school event hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 16 at Shoe Stop. Additionally, FOP Lodge 16 donates cash to local school districts to allow counselors to purchase other items needed by families in need.

FOP Lodge 16 has been hosting the back-to-school event for about 10 years, and Shoe Stop has been a longtime partner.

“Shoe Stop has always been very generous with the discounts they can offer so that we can actually help more children in this way. Because of their loyalty to our program, we have been loyal to them,” the president said. of FOP Lodge 16, George Ballard.

FOP Lodge 16 Vice President Aaron Hamilton helped organize the event for several years. Once Hamilton knows the budget, he contacts school counselors to let them know how many children can be served. Counselors then help find families in need and coordinate to bring them to the event.

FOP is also making a cash donation of approximately $2,500 which will be split equally between Owensboro and Daviess County Public Schools as well as Owensboro Catholic Schools. The Family Resource and Youth Services Centers will use these funds to purchase school supplies for families who need help.

“The best people to help get things for the kids, outside of the shoes and the things that we do, are those school counselors who know those kids intimately,” Ballard said. “They know how to make the most of those finances.”

FOP Lodge 16 is also hosting its biggest Shop With a Cop event just before Christmas. They fundraise and prepare year-round for both events.

Ballard said no event could take place without the support of the community.

“The community is helping with this back-to-school program, they’re helping with the Christmas shop with a cop,” he said. “It’s the public support for law enforcement that makes this possible. So these public donations that they give to us, we want them to know that it’s going to the right places.

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