The Spirit of Christmas was in full swing at Target this season as the Police and Fire Departments worked to provide assistance to families needing a little extra help this holiday season.
Cicero Police joined the Cicero-area Target on Dec. 8 for the annual “Shop with a Cop” event. This annual event pairs a family with children who may not have a Merry Christmas with a police officer as the group snakes through the store’s aisles to fulfill wish lists of the latest toys, games, fashion, and more. Many of the gifts were funded by donations from local merchants, such as Target and ExxonMobil on Cicero.
“Not everyone can wake up Christmas morning with a tree filled with presents,” said Police Superintendent Jerry Chlada, Jr. “We want to do what we can to help out. The officers love this part of the job and it’s definitely one of my favorite activities.”
Later, on Dec. 17, Fire Chief Dominick Buscemi and several firefighters hosted their own gift giveaway in conjunction with the Firefighters Union Local 717 and Target. Through fundraising efforts from the union, Target, and the Town of Cicero Clergy Committee, the department was able to provide more than $4,500 worth of gifts for children.
“Sometimes saving lives isn’t about fighting fires but providing a bright outlook through the holiday,” Buscemi said. “The department loves to help out where we can. The hard part of this tradition is that we can’t do more to help the kids.”
The events were supported by Town President Larry Dominick and the Town of Cicero Board of Trustees including Clerk Maria Punzo-Arias, Supervisor Joe Virruso, Assessor Emilio Cundari, Collector Fran Reitz and trustees John Cava, Victor Garcia, Larry Banks and Bob Porod.