Car show to raise funds for Shop With a Cop

By HASKEL BURNS,

For the fourth year in a row, Petal Police Department is offering residents a free chance to check out dozens of hot rods and vintage cars, along with an opportunity to donate to the department’s Shop With a Cop program.

The 2018 Car Show will be held from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 27 at Hinton Park behind Petal Civic Center, during the Petal Fall Festival. Attendance and registration are free, but donations are welcomed for Shop With a Cop, a program in which Petal police officers take local children Christmas shopping.

“It’s just a different way to tap into a different side of the community,”
 said Miranda Williams, administrative assistant at Petal Police Department. “We’re already doing other things, but this is a group that we don’t really get to interact with, and the cars that they bring are really cool.

“So we just have a lot of fun with it. They guys, they really like to get involved, because you know men love their fancy cars.”

In addition to the street racers, muscle cars and other vehicles, the event will feature a special appearance by High Roller, a monster truck owned by Jeff Krekeler of Farmington, Missouri. Awards will be given in several categories, including Best Interior, Best In Show, Best Paint, Best Motor and Best Street Rod.

Attendees also will have the chance to win door prizes and raffles, and several vendors will be on hand for purchases. The car show is put on with the help of Eddie Reid, owner of Pro Street Customs in Petal.

“It’s a real nice thing, and a real good thing to be doing for the kids whose parents don’t have the money to buy Christmas presents,” Reid said. “(Shop With a Cop) kind of gives these kids a better start to the year, and shows them that are people out there – especially police officers – that put their life on the line and care enough to spend time raising money for them.

“And that’s what it’s about, is getting kids familiar with the cops, because in this day and time … kids really need to understand that cops are there for them. So it’s a true honor to stand side by side with those guys and try to help these kids out.”

Registration for the event is free and can be completed on the “2018 Car Show benefiting Shop With a Cop” Facebook page. Participants who register before Oct. 20 will earn extra door prize tickets.

Last year’s car show raised more than $2,000 for the Shop With a Cop program, which was started in 2003 to help families buy Christmas presents for their children. The program allows police officers to have lunch with children, and gives kids the chance to tour police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles like the Rescue 7 helicopter.

At the end of the day, officers meet the children at Walmart for the Christmas shopping.

“It’s something that everybody enjoys – all the officers enjoy it because they see so much heartache throughout the year,” Williams said in a previous story. “It’s their chance to give back, and that’s what they really enjoy.”

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