Event helps double the amount of kids that can shop with a cop

Event helps double the amount of kids that can shop with a cop

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A Batesville mother created an event that doubles the amount of kids served in Shop with a Cop and it was all done in honor of her son.

Lisa Lillard lost her son Zach this summer in a canoeing accident. This holiday season she wanted to start an event that could honor his memory.

Lillard said her son was a tender hearted young man with a love for children. So when someone told her about the Shop with a Cop program, she decided it was the perfect organization to help fund.

"She wanted to find an opportunity to do something in memory of him, to benefit children at Christmas time," said Charles Dean, president of Independence County foster and adoptive parents association. "She heard about Shop with a Cop and heard about how funding was harder to come by then it once was."

Shop with a Cop allows kids in foster care to pick out Christmas items with a cop. The time shopping not only helps give the kids presents for Christmas, it also shows them cops are good people.

Lillard decided to start an event called Holiday Mingle and Jingle and send all proceeds to Shop with a Cop. The event started out small with only a few vendors to be set up in her home.

However, word of the event got out and more vendors and sponsors wanted to participate. The event eventually got so big Lillard had to move it to a new location.

Holiday Mingle and Jingle was held at the old Stanley Wood building downtown. There were over 21 sponsors, 20 vendors and 118 auction items donated.

Lillard ended up making $20,000 from the event. She only expected to make around $1,000 in the beginning.

This money will now allow 110 kids in Independence County to shop with a cop this holiday season. Last year only 56 kids were able to participate.

Lillard said she is happy the event was such a success. She told Region 8 News 2015 was a hard year for the Batesville community and it was nice to see people rally behind a positive event for the kids.

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