Fraternal Order of Police
Children's Christmas Party
The annual FOP Children's Christmas Party, organized and funded by Fraternal Order of Police Goldstar Lodge 65, has a history that goes back more than 40 years. What started as an effort to reach out to children and families in need during the holidays has grown tremendously.
Children from elementary schools located within the City of Huntington, (primarily first, second, and third graders) are chosen by the teachers at the schools. Children are transported by bus to a central location, where they receive lunch and interact with the attending police officers. All children have an individual photo taken with Santa Claus, which is later delivered to them at school. They each visit Santa as they leave and receive gifts to take home to open with their families.
In 2012 ten elementary schools were represented with 250 children in attendance. Assisting and volunteering their time at the event were active and retired Huntington Police Officers and their family members, officers representing other agencies, and several volunteers, 17 high school students from the Huntington Police Explorers program, and other employees from the Huntington Police Department.
The FOP Children's Christmas Party's expenses average $10,000 annually for gifts, wrapping, food and entertainment, and are paid exclusively by FOP Goldstar Lodge 65 through fund raising and charitable donations. Lt. Ray Cornwell coordinates the event along with his wife, Emily.
Current and retired officers help plan, organize, and raise funds for this event. Special thanks goes to the Improved Order of Redmen – Mohawk Tribe #11, Becki Carpenter and McDonald's, Tri-State Transit Authority, Teresa Ferguson and Macy's, Mr. Ken McLain, Walmart #5296, Eagle Distributing, Cabell County Schools Transportation, and all volunteers who helped to make this year's party a success.