Saturday was a great day to get out of the house.
Many spectators came to the Rural King parking lot to see cars of a certain age in the annual Fraternal Order of Police’s Cherokee Chapter 4 “Cruising with the Cops” car show. FOP Cherokee Chapter 4 is comprised of police officers from Hamblen County.
Cars of all makes, models and sizes were on display at the show, from the 1940s up to the late 1980s.
Proceeds from the show went toward FOP projects, including the annual “Cops ‘n Kids” campaign at Christmas. At last year’s “Cops ‘n Kids” event, each child was given a $100 gift card to Walmart to use for Christmas shopping.
Children served range from small children to teenagers who attend Hamblen County schools.
The car show is one of several fundraisers for the FOP for the “Cops ‘n Kids” program. Other events include a bluegrass concert during Police Week, a golf tournament in October and donations by the community.
“Cops ‘n Kids” was started 10 years ago when current FOP President Don Baird became president.
“We started out small, but we started having fundraisers and the event got bigger and better,” Baird said.
The amount of funds available to these children depends on how the fundraising goes this year.
“Our guys enjoy it, plus it gives them a chance to interact with the community,” Baird said. “Usually when a police car rolls up, it’s not a good thing for the kids. The kids are hurt or afraid. Fear is a big thing with them. We’ve noticed here some are kind of shy about wanting to go out with them. This gives our guys a chance to say, ‘We’re good people and Hey, we’re here to help you.’ It puts a positive light on what we do and for them not to be afraid of the uniform. We want them running to us, not from us.”
Also, when residents dine at Golden Corral in Morristown, Owner Blake Overfelt has placed jars for donations to the “Cops ‘n Kids” program. Money from the jars are collected monthly by FOP Treasurer Jim Newman.