It was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and while making plans for a fundraiser for Pharos Parenting, the staff’s discussion turned to local law enforcement officers and “how we could provide them lunch to thank them for all they do for us and for the children we serve,” said Tonya Fowler, executive director of Pharos Parenting Child Abuse Prevention Center.
Therefore, the fundraiser, which was held Feb. 10, grew to serve a two-fold purpose of helping the nonprofit with its mission to end child abuse and neglect in the community and to treat an officer to lunch.
The event was a success as 700 plates were sold and all of the law enforcement officers were fed in all three local police departments, including Mooresville, Troutman and Statesville, along with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, a total of 160 officers, Fowler said.
“Plus, we had additional donations, so we were able to feed the firemen at the downtown Statesville fire station too,” she said.
Donations came in to help provide meals from individuals throughout the community along with help from civic groups like the local Exchange and Excel Clubs.
“We loved seeing how the community came together to show support for both child abuse prevention and our law enforcement officers,” said Fowler. “The response was overwhelming! It was a great day!”
Each plate contained the Port-A-Pit chicken, beans, slaw and a roll. An added sweet treat was included with the meal as Famous Toastery donated cookies to go inside each box.
“The entire community helped make it a great day by buying and selling plates, volunteering, delivering, and donating. We are especially grateful for the support from the Exchange Club and for the donation of dessert from Famous Toastery. We couldn't have done it without their help,” Fowler said.
As meals were picked up at the Mooresville Police Department, officers expressed their thanks for the lunch.
In addition to the various officers, leadership of the various law enforcement offices likewise expressed their thanks.
Statesville Police Chief David Addison said “the last year was filled with obstacles we had to overcome as a department and a community. We are grateful for the donations of food to the Statesville Police Department. Knowing our community sees our efforts and are working with us has been awesome! The community supporting law enforcement reminds us of why we do this job! We are honored to serve the Statesville community.”
“We are so honored and humbled by the outpouring of support,” said Sheriff Darren Campbell. “It seems daily the community is reaching out to support our office and the law enforcement here in Iredell County. Pharos Parenting has been a long time partner with the Sheriff’s Office.”