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September 26, 2013

Run to benefit children at Christmas

MERIDIAN —     The Meridian Police Benevolent Association MPBA is sponsoring the Blue Light Run Saturday at Bonita Lakes Recreation Park with proceeds going to their annual  Christmas with a Cop program. Lee Wilson, a 20-year veteran of the MPD and the DARE officer for the department, said the response so far to the run has been outstanding.

    "We just can't thank those who have signed up so far enough," Wilson said. "It just goes to show just how much this community turns out to support good programs such as Christmas with a Cop. They understand the work we do and hundreds of children will benefit greatly from the runners participation in this inaugural event."

    The Christmas with a Cop program has been an annual program for the MPBA for more than 20 years. Wilson said a child will be matched up with a law enforcement officer and they will go out shopping one day shortly before Christmas morning. Wilson said toys and clothes are commonly on the list for the children.

    "I'm not a father but I am an uncle so seeing the joy on a child's face makes the year and all the hard work up to that point well worth it," Wilson said. "That is when you know you are making a difference."

    Wilson said last year the Christmas with a Cop program impacted more than 200 children.

    The runs include a 5K run, a two mile walk, and a one mile kids' fun run, according to Wilson. He said the preregistration period is over but if someone decides at the last minute to join in on the fun they can do so with a $25 entry fee. Wilson said 80 people have signed up already.

    "That is a very good number for a first event and we couldn't be happier," Wilson said. "We can take more runners so the more the merrier."

    Children can run the one mile course for free, Wilson said.     

    The run will begin at 8 a.m. and Wilson advised all those signed up to come a little early so there is plenty of time to get signed in.

    Wilson said Santa Claus would make an appearance to pose for photos with anyone wishing to do so.

    For more information, call Wilson at 601-917-0046, or Barbara Dubose at 601-485-1885.

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