Blue Santa delivers in Braidwood

SANTA AND HIS ‘BLUE’ helpers made a special trip to homes around town on Christmas day. The Braidwood Police Department held its second annual Blue Santa event, a chance to get out in the community and give back to those in need. Braidwood Police Department photo.

Marney Simon

A season of reaching out and giving back was capped off for the Braidwood Police Department with a memorable event that left everyone smiling.

On Christmas day, members of the police department, Braidwood ESDA, and the city administration tagged along with the Jolly Old Elf for the second annual Blue Santa event.

The group delivered Christmas gifts, two boxes of non perishable food provided by the Community Care Center Food Pantry, and a hot Christmas dinner prepared by Walter “Freak” Kozielski from Top Fuel Saloon to families around town.

“This would not have been possible without the kind donations we have received,” Chief Todd Lyons reported to social media.

Both Shop with a Cop and Blue Santa are made possible by donations made to the BPD, which holds those funds in a special account earmarked for those charitable activities.

Anyone who wants to help out can donate to that fund by dropping off a check, made to the Braidwood Police Department, at City Hall or at the police station throughout the year.

The department and its members also fundraise throughout the year to purchase gift cards, then use those cards to take the selected children to Walmart in Morris to buy gifts for the holidays for Shop with a Cop event, which took place earlier this month.

The police department works with the school district to select children and families who could benefit from the programs.

The two Christmastime events are part of the department’s overall efforts to contribute to the community. Officers with the department also participate in National Night Out every August, as well as events throughout the year including Summerfest, park district events in the park, and the Homecoming and Holiday parades.