According to T.J. Assion of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department, and president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 141, referrals are given by the Salvation Army in regards to participants for the event. This year began with a limousine service at the Salvation Army, which transported them to the Canfield area McDonald's.
Following a “You deserve a break today,” breakfast with the deupties, they traveled by police escort to K-Mart for a shopping trip, and then to the Cinemark movie theater where they enjoyed the Muppet movie.
Assion, who has been with the department since 2001, a sergeant since 2007, and currently serving his first year as president of the FOP Lodge 141, shared that the traditional event continues despite drastic concessions taken by the department.
“We raise money to do this because it’s important,” he said.
The significance is the children for officer William Bugzavich, who has been a part of the event for five years.
“I have kids,” he said, adding that he would like to believe that if his family were ever in need, someone would be there to help them.
“[As law enforcement] we see people in their worst situations,” he said, adding of the annual event, “This kind of brings you back.”
Photos by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
The Ostavitz family: Carol, Thomas, and their children, Thomas, Donald, Kyra, and Nayomi shared some family time at McDonald’s before heading back to their limo for a fun day of shopping and a movie as part of the annual 'Shop with a Deputy' event.