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From tickets to turkey, state police prepare holiday feast

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Residents of the A-Way Home Shelter in Greencastle, employees and troopers with the Indiana State Police pose for a picture outside the shelter following a meal donated and prepared by the officers in the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season.
Indiana State Police officers weren't handing out their usual traffic citations and warnings when they converged on the A-Way Home Shelter in Greencastle Wednesday night.

They put down their weapons, pulled up their sleeves and went to work preparing mountains of oven-baked turkey and mounds of mashed potatoes, with all the trimmings, to hand out to residents of the shelter.

"A lot of people see us on our regular days, handing out tickets, but they don't see our compassionate side," ISP Lt. Todd Smith told the BannerGraphic.

He and a group of ISP troopers and ISP employees, mostly from the Putnamville Post, came up with the idea to donate food and prepare a special dinner for shelter residents to commemorate the Christmas and holiday season.

"I think it's a great idea," said ISP Sgt. Pat Warczynski, who joined Smith and ISP Area Cpt. Brent Johnson in the kitchen Wednesday night.

In all, more than a half dozen ISP troopers, in addition to several employees of the State Police, took part in the first-time project by purchasing food and preparing it for the residents of the shelter.

Smith even cooked the turkey at his own home Tuesday night, in preparation for bringing it to the shelter on Wednesday.

"They've come in, patted us on the back, and said it means a lot to them," Smith said the shelter residents.

Valeta May is employed by the shelter as the evening monitor and said the residents and staff are appreciative of the police officers' efforts.

"The residents really enjoyed it," she said. "They appreciate groups that come in like this."

Wal-Mart also donated $50 for the project.

Smith and other officers said they were happy with how well the project turned out and they hoped to do it again next year, possibly at the shelter.

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This really gives me a warm feeling about the State Police. My sympathy is with those who are homeless, expecially at this time of year. Especially sad for the children. I also applaude Greencastle for having someplace for the homeless to call "Home" at Christmas.

-- Posted by interested party on Thu, Dec 20, 2007, at 2:23 PM

Thanks to the ISP and volunteers that helped at the shelter .... It was really nice that Wal-Mart found $50.00 laying around that they could donate to the cause . Bless their heart ....

-- Posted by Lafayette on Thu, Dec 20, 2007, at 6:13 PM

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