KINGWOOD — More than 40 children received a special Christmas treat this year thanks to Shop with a Deputy and Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo.
Preston County Sheriff’s Capt. John Bryan said along with their gifts, the children were provided with hot chocolate and a drive through Wild Lights.
Wild Lights is 3/4-mile drive through Christmas lights and decorations set up as a fundraiser by Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo. A portion of the proceeds from the event were donated to Shop with a Deputy.
Shop with a Deputy is a program the Preston County Deputy Sheriff’s Association raises money for each year.
Bryan said while viewing the lights, the families also had a chance to see some of the animals, like the monkeys, wolves and bears.
He said the trip to the zoo was not the only change in the Shop With a Deputy this year.
“Normally we take the kids to Walmart to do the shopping,” Bryan said. “This year we contacted the families and got a list of what each child wanted.”
He said deputies did the shopping and Hovatter’s employees wrapped the gifts.
Next year could bring more than toys to children whose families sign up for the program.
“Our plans next year is to provide coats and boots as well as toys for the kids,” Bryan said.
He said the Preston County Deputy Sheriff’s Association would like to thank Santa’s Helpers for helping this year. They included:
- Sheriff Dan Loughrie,
- Preston County Sheriff’s Office administrative assistants Melissa Hardy, Kristie Hartsell and Tonya Myers, and the Preston County Sheriff’s Office utility officers.
“We also want to thank our very special elves Alex Hovatter and Darby Grimm for wrapping all the presents.” Bryan said. “This event could not have been possible without the help of all the above individuals.”
Money for Shop with a Deputy comes from donations to the Preston County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.