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BY CATHY DYSON
Needy King George children went shopping with sheriff's deputies Wednesday night, then were treated to a reception at the King George Family YMCA.
The event, the first "MCA Shop with a Sheriff" night in the county, was a joint effort between the YMCA and the Sheriff's Office.
About 25 children met at the King George YMCA to be partnered with their deputies. The group then went by bus to the Dahlgren Walmart, where deputies and their buddies shopped for an hour.
Each child got $100 to spend on clothes, a coat and up to $25 in toys.
Afterward, the shoppers returned to the YMCA for a reception and family fun, said Elizabeth Clark, executive director of the King George YMCA.
Walmart and Foote Title Group in King George helped sponsor the program, which will become an annual event.
The Sheriff's Office provided 25 deputies and about 20 other personnel for the program, which is done in a similar fashion in several other Fredericksburg-area localities.
The groups "saw a need and an opportunity to build relationships with families that need help during the Christmas season," Clark said. "Taking time with a child is always a good thing."
Next year, the King George YMCA will start a program called YMCA Bright Beginnings to get children clothes and a knapsack full of supplies for school.
"It will be the same shopping concept," Clark said. "We will start raising money for this program in March."
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425