FOP Annual Holiday Party Preview


Courtesy of Maggie Hallinan (‘18)

The decorations in the Santa Room from a past FOP Holiday Party at the Crowne Plaza.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) organization will host its annual holiday party for special needs children on December 17 at the Crowne Plaza, featuring hundreds of attendees and approximately 200 East student volunteers.

This organization holds these parties every year to make sure special needs children can have fun during the holidays, and to show that these kids can have equal fun to any other child for the holidays.

“I believe that FOP is an amazing volunteer opportunity that allows students to help put on a great event that benefits special needs/ disabled kids,” Mikey Bellino (‘19), one of the FOP “Co-Overalls” (one of the leaders of FOP) wrote. Students from both Cherry Hill East and West volunteer at the event.

For preparation, all students from FOP are given set schedules for when they can meet, on which days they stay after school to create drawings and design table settings for the ballroom and Santa room – a room where kids can meet jolly old Saint Nicholas himself. Outside sponsors help provide the food, music, gifts and materials that are needed for this party.

“The students also cut out snowflakes to hang in the Santa Clause room and wrap boxes… signed as Santa, so that Santa will be present ready to greet the kids and hand out gifts”, Ari Shalit (‘19), another FOP Co-Overall, wrote.

The volunteers are selected by a check system that the FOP group created. If a student comes to the meetings regularly and is actively participating during the meeting, they get a check next to their name. If the student gets three checks, then they will be one of the students going to the party to celebrate the festive event with the children.

This year’s FOP party will see children interacting and playing with volunteers from the high schools and taking some pictures with Santa Claus in the Santa room. The kids will also be able to dance and socialize in the ballroom.