(Posted Oct. 19, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Put on a costume (or not, it’s up to you) and head over to the Madison County Fairgrounds on Oct. 29 for a fun time that supports a good cause.
In coordination with the London Police Department’s “Shop With A Cop” program, Reagans Productions is putting on a Halloween costume party and concert in the Eby Arena. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The party runs until 11:30 p.m. Admission is free. The fairgrounds are located at 205 Elm St., London.
“The Reaganomics,” a 1980s dance and party band from central Ohio, will perform. Heidelberg Distributing, the beverage supplier for the event, is sponsoring a costume contest. Prizes will go to the best outfits by category.
The night also includes a silent auction featuring such items as an outdoor grill, television, Bluetooth speaker, and themed gift baskets. Proceeds from the auction and beverage sales will go to Shop With A Cop, a program that brightens Christmas for area children.
“We’ve been doing Shop With A Cop since about 2013,” said London Police Sgt. Donovan Cooper, who coordinates the program with Jeannie Porter, a London Police dispatcher, and Stacey Jones, a former Madison County Job & Family Services employee. “To date, we’ve assisted 50 families.”
Each year, organizers collect auction and raffle items from area businesses and hold a fundraiser. In the early years, the event took place at Crown Sports Lounge. In recent years, Madison Lanes hosted the event.
Last year was an exception. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the police department did not hold a public fundraiser. They did receive enough monetary donations, however, to fulfill Christmas wish lists of several area children in need.
Back this year with an in-person event, the program looks to keep the giving going. Reagans Productions is happy to help make that happen.
“When the need came up for raising funds for Shop With A Cop, we figured why not have a fun time doing it,” said Cory Coburn, Reagans Production owner and a London resident.
Over the past three years, the company has put on five concerts at the fairgrounds. The first concert to benefit charitable causes took place this past April. The event raised $6,000 which was split between the Mason Cordell Scholarship Fund and One Team One Fight. Additionally, the Green and Ballah families donated $1,000 to Loving Care Hospice.
“That’s what kind of gave us this idea… We thought, let’s do something this fall for Shop With A Cop. We’re a big supporter of local law enforcement,” Coburn said.
Traditionally, following the annual fundraiser, London police officers set aside a day close to Christmas to shop one-on-one with the children who are selected to take part in the program. That did not happen last year due to the pandemic. Instead, officers did the shopping themselves and delivered the gifts to the families.
“I think we’ll be back to our one-on-one this year. So far, that is the plan,” Cooper said.
Anyone who would like to donate to the cause but cannot make it to the fundraiser can drop off donations earmarked for Shop With A Cop at the London Police Department, 10 E. First St. For more information, call (740) 852-1414.