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Events to raise money for Mulberry’s ‘Shop With Cop’

A dip in cold water, shooting practice and baked goods are all part of a Dec. 7 event at Bluff Hole Park to raise money for the Mulberry Shop With a Cop program.

At least seven area residents including several Mulberry police officers will brave the cold water as part of the Polar Bear Plunge beginning at 11 a.m., said organizer Barbara Richards. Participants raise money for the event by gathering pledges.

Rescue teams will be on hand in case of an emergency, Richards said.

Immediately following the plunge will be a “turkey” skeet shoot. Registration is $10 and ammunition is provided, but participants must bring their own 12 or 20-gauge shotgun, Richards said.

Winners of the shoot will receive a prize and a turkey, Richards said. All participants will get a goody bag, she said.

Throughout the event, volunteers will be selling baked goods provided by 40 women from Mercy Fort Smith, Richards said. They also have donated items for a giveaway during the event, she said.

“The reason behind all of this is the Shop With a Cop program,” Richards said.

Many area children get little or nothing at Christmas time, Richards said. The goal of Mulberry’s program is to provide at least $100 for each child a family signs up to spend for Christmas, she said.

Volunteers will take the families shopping Dec. 21, helping them to choose necessities first and then toys and other items the children and teens want, she said.

Richards noted that for her, the event is special because the children get excited about “little things that will break your heart,” she said.

“It’s unreal how excited a child will get over a toothbrush or a change of socks,” Richards said.

Fortunately, the Mulberry program has always been able to raise enough money for each child that has signed up, but if they ever fall short of their goal, organizers work with local schools to determine who is most in need, Richards said.

In addition to the Dec. 7 fundraising event, volunteers will be smoking turkeys Dec. 23 at the senior center as part of a Christmas meal provided to needy families, she said.

Besides the turkey, the meal will include green beans, potatoes, stuffing, bread and a dessert, Richards said.

To participate in the fundraising events, or to sign up for the Shop With a Cop program or free Christmas dinner, contact Richards via Facebook or visit the Mulberry City Complex.