The Regina Police Service traded their badges for Santa hats and treated 20 kids to shopping sprees at the Cornwall Centre.
It was a part of the second annual CopShop where local kids get paired with a police officer and received a $200 gift card to use at any store within the Cornwall Centre.
“It’s an opportunity for some kids to go out and buy some Christmas gifts for themselves or some family members that they may not otherwise have an opportunity to do just based on their financial situations,” Lance Dudar, co-ordinator for TRiP, said.
The day started off with the kids being picked up by the officers in a limo and driven to the mall.
Ten-year-old Colton Lonethunder was paired up with Police Chief Evan Bray for the day. Bray said he knew they would both get along because both of them couldn’t wait to get some food.
After a pizza lunch, it was time for the kids to meet Santa Claus and get a photo with old Saint Nick. After the photo, the kids were given a gift bag filled with toys and other holiday items.
Then it was off to the races for the shopping teams.
Along with the gift card, each child received either a new jacket or pair of boots from Sears, a $10 Dollerama gift card, a pair of mittens from The Bay and a new pair of jeans from the Gap.
Lonethunder had filled out a list of the gifts that he wanted to get for himself, his mom, his sister, his brother and his nephew. Bray was tasked with ensuring Lonethunder was able to budget his gift card to ensure everyone got a gift.
Lonethunder wants the gifts he got his family to remain a surprise for Christmas but he got himself the Skylanders Imaginators video game and a couple of new Nerf guns.
Overall, both would say the day was a success.
“It was really good,” Lonethunder said, still beaming over the purchase of the Nerf guns. “I’m really happy I got some presents for my family and for myself.”
“Such a good opportunity for some of these young leaders in our community to be given a thanks for the great year, they’ve had so far,” Bray said. “Colton’s going to school all the time, getting his homework done on time and for us as a police service here in Regina, this is really what it’s all about.”
Lonethunder was even the teacher at one point in the day.
“I was able to help Colton with the budgeting but he definitely had to help me when we were in EB Games. Some of those games I wasn’t aware of what they were about or what the technology was about.”
The event not only takes place in Regina, but in other malls across the country who are owned by 20 Vic Management, who also own the Cornwall Centre.