East students have a blast at the FOP holiday party


Courtesy of Instagram

The FOP members hard work and dedication payed off after a successful holiday party.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) hosted its annual holiday party on December 16 at the Crowne Plaza, spreading holiday cheer to special needs children in the area.

Around 900 people came together to celebrate. Children as young as three to children as old as seventeen, as well as all their aids, all attended this event. The smiles on the attendees and volunteers’ faces showed the true joy that was circulating throughout the room.

“The kids have an amazing time at the holiday party and it is something for many of the children to look forward to,” said FOP member, Jillian MacHenry (‘22).

Throughout the event, there was constant fun. It did not matter what the kids were doing, they had a great time throughout the entire day. They ate fun treats, such as hot dogs and ice cream, they danced around to popular songs and they even met Santa Clause at the very end.

“FOP is important to me because I get to see all the children having a great time,” said new FOP member, Katie Bristow (‘23). “The kids with ASD have a harder time than us in a lot of situations, so it is great to provide them with a party that truly does make them happy.”

Meeting Santa was the highlight of the party for many of the younger kids. Santa’s appearance made the entire party an experience to remember. Everyone anticipated his arrival and became overjoyed when the moment finally came.

“It was so cute. A bunch of the younger kids ran up and hugged him, and kids of all ages were excited to get in line to see him,” said Bristow.

Aside from getting pictures with Santa, many of the children were excited by the site of volunteers dressed up in their holiday costumes.

Not only was the party an exciting event for the children, but it was also exciting for the volunteers. Many enjoyed being around happy kids, giving back to the community and representing East in a positive way.

“I chose to join FOP because it’s an amazing [way] to help out kids in the community. I am very happy that I can be apart of such an amazing day. It is also a good way to give back to our direct community,” said MacHenry.

Bristow used the party as a way to rediscover her desire of working with children. “I spent a lot of time around kids with autism last year, and it was a great experience. Helping with the FOP part was a good way to continue that work,” said Bristow.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Charles Davis and volunteers work together to make the event as successful as possible. Not only do the volunteers spend an entire school day at the party, but they also meet every week for two months leading up to the party. They do this in order to prepare all the Christmas and holiday decorations.

“A lot of work goes into getting everything together [for the event],” said Bristow. “ But seeing kids dancing and having a great time, while surrounded by a whole circle of FOP members dancing around and cheering, made all the work worth it.”

The 2019 FOP party was a huge success for many. Members are already looking forward to next years event!