DDA Polk

From left: David Dlugokecki presents Officers Edward Palmer and John Mongeon with the Dyer Difference Award.

LAKE WALES — For the past 12 years, the Lake Wales Police Officers Association (LWPOA) has made the holidays a little happier for children in the community through several events, including the much-beloved Shop-With-A-Cop program, which pairs officers with children on a shopping spree neither will ever forget. An average of 40 children each year receive a $100 gift card to spend at Walmart and have the opportunity to spend the day with a police officer chosen especially for them.

This very special and individualized event helps to build positive community relationships that often last a lifetime.

In addition to the $100 holiday shopping spree, each child is gifted with a new bicycle, and their family receives a very special package to help them celebrate the holidays, including a Christmas tree, Christmas meal and other food items.

The Lake Wales Police Officers Association, which also supports the Family Christmas and Awards Banquet, generates the funds for these events through LWPOA fund raisers and from donations from businesses and citizens of the community. The importance of this activity on the lives of children and future community members is why the Dyer Difference Award committed chose to recognize LWPOA with the Dyer Difference Award and a check for $3,000 this month.

Each month, members of the Dyer family and Dyer Kia and Dyer Chevrolet team meet to review the applications that have been submitted and select one non-profit organization to receive that month’s recognition and $3,000 award.

For the members of the Dyer team it’s all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. To learn more about the Dyer Difference Award, visit www.dyerdifference.org.