The sheriff played Santa by gifting children from the Hamilton Street Activity Center with a free showing of “Frozen 2” during the second annual Movie with the Sheriff.
Although it wasn’t a white Christmas, 44 children from the Hamilton Street Activity Center were able to ask, “Do you want to build a snowman?” while at Three Star Cinema to celebrate the holidays. The trip to the movies is funded by the Warren County Sherriff’s Department.
“We started this a year ago to help some of the Hamilton Street kids. Last year, I realized several of these kids had never been to the theater,” says Sheriff Tommy Myers. “They loved it so much last year we decided to turn it into an annual event. It’s heartwarming and means just as much to us as it does the kids.”
“My favorite part is being able to see the kids’ faces when they come in, get together and watch the film,” adds Chief Deputy Bo Ramsey. “The interaction with the officers helps spread a positive light and builds a stronger connection between the kids and officers in the community. I believe it’s a great experience for all and shows how much we want to have a positive impact on these children. We’re here for them, and we’re somebody they can come to if needed.”
The Hamilton Street Activity Center is one of the three activity centers for McMinnville Housing Authority. These are located at housing complexes on Hamilton Street, Cope Street and South Mill Street in Morrison. The Hamilton Street complex is the largest with approximately 70 children being involved in the activity center.
“We’re grateful Sheriff Myers asked us to be a part of this experience,” says McMinnville Housing Authority’s activity director Lisa Harvey. “It’s a wonderful Christmas surprise, and the children are happy to be here. We really appreciate this.”
Altogether, 123 children are part of the program. The activity centers help kids with homework, provide snacks and a meal and host after-school activities. Monetary donations are collected throughout the year.
Churches, organizations and individuals donated items for the children’s’ Christmas wish lists. Three Star Cinema hosts the event with discounted ticket prices. The Sheriff’s Department employees purchased tickets, bags of popcorn, candy canes and bottles of water for the children.
“I’m so proud of our whole department, and I feel blessed to be able to work with such a great group of people. They really care about helping the children and work hard every day to protect our citizens,” says Myers. “The kids mean the world to all of us. The youth are our future, and I feel like this event helps us reach out and connect with the kids in our community.”