MARTIN | THE TIMES Officer Paul Czupryn, left, of the Porter County Sheriff's
Department, greets Laura Campbell and her son Adam Munuz, 6. The Fraternal Order
of Police Lodge 165 sponsor a back to school "Shop With a Cop" event Saturday at
Walmart in Valparaiso, allowing school-aged children a $100 voucher to purchase
clothing and school supplies
MARTIN | THE TIMES Sheriff's Officer Paul Czupryn of the Porter County Sheriff's
Department, right, goes shopping Saturday at Wal-Mart in Valparaiso with Alexis
Ortiz, 9, and her family. The family was taking part in the Shop With a Cop
program helps in tough economy
Shop With a Cop serving
Susan Emery - Times Correspondent | Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 12:00 am
Alexis Ortiz, 9, is going back to school in style thanks to the generosity of
Porter County authorities and residents. A fourth-grade student at Central
Elementary School in Portage, Ortiz was among some 130 kids who got to Shop With
a Cop on Saturday morning at the Valparaiso Wal-Mart. "I need jeans,"
Ortiz said. "I like the (ones with) sparkles." Sponsored by the Fraternal
Order of Police Ewalt Jahnz Lodge No. 165, the program gives families with low
incomes $100 to buy clothing and school supplies. An average of 100 kids has
been served each year for the past 20 years. "This year, with the
situation being what it is economically, we've boosted our totals up," said
Susan Resteau, retired Porter County sheriff's officer and program coordinator.
A fundraising phone drive took place earlier this year and -- although donations
were down because of the economy -- the police also were able to raise money
through events such as golf outings, Resteau said. That was good news for
Ortiz and her mother, Jennifer Milland, who browsed the store accompanied by
Porter County sheriff's patrolman Paul Czupryn. The youngster pulled a pair of
jeans decorated with white sequins off the rack. "Alexis doesn't need my
judgment when it comes to picking out jeans," Czupryn joked. "She has pretty
good fashion sense." Milland held up an outfit for her daughter. "Do you
like this? Would you wear it?" Mother and daughter also checked out the
clearance racks. "We can do clearance and get more stuff with the $100,"
Milland said. Boone Grove sixth-grader Stephanie Embro, 11, and her
brother, Sean Embro, 14, a freshman, came away with jeans, shirts and socks.
"She likes the latest styles -- whatever the girls are wearing," their mother,
Ruth Montgomery, said. "He pretty much does his own thing." The Embros
said "thank you" to Resteau before leaving. "I think it's very generous of
them to do this for us," Sean Embro said.