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‘Pop for a Cop’ seeking support

SHOWING APPRECIATION — The “Pop for a Cop” bash at 1 p.m. on Feb. 29 at the Sycamore Youth Center, 301 N. Fourth St., Steubenville, is an opportunity to show appreciation for law enforcement personnel at the Steubenville Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department through donations of pop and gift cards for fast food businesses, according to event coordinator Daycha Wade, right, with her daughter, Jazzell, and Bobbyjon Bauman, center director. Donations of pop and meal cards can be dropped off at the Sycamore Youth Center from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or call Wade at (740) 4457-9879 or Bauman at (608) 556-3068. Feb. 28 is the deadline. -- Janice Kiaski

STEUBENVILLE — The Sycamore Youth Center will be hosting the second “Pop for a Cop” bash on Feb. 29 as a relationship-building event between youth and law enforcement and a show of appreciation for their service, according to organizers.

The event begins at 1 p.m. at the center, located at 301 N. Fourth St., Steubenville, but help from the public — youth, businesses, churches or individuals — is being sought in advance of that, specifically for donations of pop and meal gift cards from local fast food establishments.

The first “Pop for a Cop” was held in 2017 to honor law enforcement with the Steubenville Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, and that also will be the case this time around, explained event originator and coordinator Daycha Wade.

“We live in an area where it kind of gets chaotic sometimes in our neighborhood, and just in general we always see different things with the police and sometimes there’s negative things said about them, but we love the cops and appreciate when they come and restore peace where we live, so this was a way to try to say thank you for all that they do, especially for risking their lives to keep our community safe,” Wade said.

“I think that everybody should sometimes thank them, and as a community if we could do something together and pull together just to say thank you, we shouldn’t have to wait for something bad to happen to be able to just thank them for what they do and let them know that we love them,” she added.

The first event was held at Greater Zion Temple Family Worship Center but will move to the Sycamore Youth Center where donations of pop and meal gifts cards will be accepted from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The final day to donate will be Feb. 28.

The idea is to present law enforcement on Feb. 29 with the token of appreciation at the Sycamore Youth Center where youth at the center will be making a pop display with all the cases of soft drinks that have been collected, which include bottled water. There also will be a gift card table bearing a list of all who sponsored the event.

Other features of the event will include a selfie station affording the opportunity for photos with attending law enforcement representatives and a banner listing names of all who made the event a success, according to Wade, who noted “Pop For A Cop” is a kind of reversal from “Shop With A Cop.”

“There’s ‘Shop With A Cop” where they go and take people out and buy things for Christmas, but this is the opposite where everybody gets a chance to say here’s pop or here’s a gift card for their lunch. Here’s something for everybody to do to give back to them, to let them know they’re thought about, and we appreciate them,” Wade said.

“We’re looking to build better relationships between the youth and the police force, to not see them as enemies but rather as friends and that they’re trying to help them,” Bauman said of the event’s purpose beyond showing appreciation. “That was the big thing that really struck me, that I thought was a beneficial reason why to be a part of this, so that the kids will see a positive view of the police,” Bauman said.

A promotional flier about “Pop For A Cop” notes, “We as a community value, love and appreciate our police officers. They have a challenging job that involves risking their lives to protect others while keeping the community safe. We will say a prayer of protection for them at the bash. Everyone is encouraged to come out and show your support. The purpose of this event is to make our children more comfortable asking police for help.”

For information, contact Wade at (740) 457-9879 or Bauman at (608) 556-3068.

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