|Sheriff, police chief collecting gifts, planning trip to children’s hospital|
|November 30, 2011 09:37 am|
They won’t be wearing red suits and white beards, but two of Curry County’s top law enforcement officials will play Santa for hospitalized children.
Sheriff John Bishop and Brookings Police Chief Chris Wallace plan a trip to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland to distribute gifts.
It’s something they’ve wanted to do since Wallace’s daughter, Katelyn, succumbed to cancer in April 2008. She spent a significant amount of time at Doernbecher during treatment.
Wallace acknowledged it will be painful to remember that time and return to Doernbecher. But it was Katelyn’s wish to establish a fund with which to help other hospitalized children, he said, and much of the funding for this year’s gifts comes from that source.
He and wife Molly also benefit children’s clinics in Medford and other places. “We just want to put a smile on children’s faces,” he said.
Wallace emphasized he understands the economic climate and realizes many people don’t have money to spare.
“If people feel compelled to donate, though, we would be more than happy to take additional gifts,” he said.
Bishop said the trip has been planned for years, but they couldn’t coordinate their schedules until now.
“Chris and I, throughout our careers, have seen a lot of kids from this area go to Doernbecher due to traffic accidents and other things,” Bishop said.
The most recent was Bryce Bond, the 13-year-old Brookings boy who fell from a high rock at Mill Beach and broke several bones.
Bishop and Wallace will go to Portland Dec. 19 or 20, depending on court subpoenas. Wives Molly Wallace and Kris Bishop will accompany them during two days of gift-giving.
Those who want to contribute may write checks payable to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, with “Doernbecher” written on the subject line, Bishop said. They can be brought to the sheriff’s office in Gold Beach or the Police Department in Brookings.
Bishop added that checks also can be mailed to him at P.O. Box 681, Gold Beach, OR 97444. A notation on the envelop should direct it to the sheriff’s attention.
Checks payable to the Brookings Police Department may be hand delivered or mailed to the department at 898 Elk Drive, Brookings, OR 97415.
Gifts will be given to children from a few months of age through those 18 years old.
“Even though an infant may not know what they got, the gesture to the family may help them,” Bishop said. “It will help the kids up there and give Curry County a good reputation.”
Donations will be collected through Dec. 15.