Bash garners teacher supplies, support for police

Written by on July 1, 2019

The Silver City Police Department and the Grant County DWI Program teamed up June 21 to host their second annual Summer Bash event, where they collected school supplies donations for the teachers of Silver City, while also reaching out to parents and children in order to spread awareness on the topics of drug and alcohol abuse.

“This is our second year,” said Officer Leticia Lopez, “and we had another really good turnout.” 

Lopez helps coordinate and plan community-involvement events for the Silver City Police Department, and the Summer Bash is one of the newest additions to her list of assignments.

This year, the event offered free food, swimming, raffles, music, volleyball and a cornhole tournament, in which the winners took home the custom-made cornhole game boards.

The Summer Bash began last year when the Police Department teamed up with the DWI Program to create an event that could benefit both organizations as well as the community.

When formulating this event last year, Lopez said she and some other officers knew that they wanted to have a pool party for the community, but weren’t yet sure how the event could also fill a community need.

They noticed there were school supply drives for kids who were in need in the community, but saw that there weren’t drives for teachers.

“We thought, ‘We need a teacher drive,’” Lopez said.

“Our goal is to get supplies for our teachers,” she added, listing basic supplies that teachers use regularly throughout the school year, like dry-erase markers, Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer.

The event saw nearly 200 participants come through the doors this year, all of whom provided some type of supplies in order to be admitted.

Now, the supplies will be distributed to teachers throughout Silver City, including “Harrison, to Jose Barrios, Stout, La Plata, Silver High, Aldo Leopold,” Lopez said.

Along with the supplies they collect, the Silver City Police Department and Grant County DWI Program will also use leftover funds after event expenses are paid in order to buy more supplies for teachers.

The Summer Bash is also a place where the Grant County DWI Program could provide information to children and parents about drug and alcohol abuse.

“This is one of the few times that we can actually reach parents,” said Cindy Blackman, director of the program. “In schools, we only get to see the kids.”

The program works with students at schools throughout Grant County during the school year, covering topics from drug and alcohol abuse to decision-making and self-worth.

At this event, the program “can help parents and provide them with the contact and resources they need” in order to have discussions with their children on these issues, Blackman said.

The Summer Bash is also a place where police can promote a positive image of themselves.

“I want to see the community come together,” Lopez said. “I want them all to trust law enforcement, and not to see us as a threat, but know that we are here to help them.”

“I think it helps especially with the kids to see police in a different light,” Blackman added. “Helping out, providing them with food and having fun. I think it helps the kids perceive that the police are good people.”

For the remainder of the summer, the Grant County DWI Program will continue providing outreach services to children who attend the summer lunch program at Virginia Street Park, Gough Park, and the Public Library. 

Lopez said her department is planning more summer events that will encourage community engagement.

—DAVID MARQUEZ

(Press Staff Photo by C.P. Thompson)  Silver City Police Capt. Ben Villegas tosses a ball to Salvador Quintana during the second annual Summer Bash School Supply Pool Party. The event featured games, prizes, music and free food. The entry fee to the event was school supplies, which will be donated to Silver Consolidated Schools. The Silver City Police Department, Grant County DWI Program, and Fraternal Order of Police put the event together.

(Press Staff Photo by C.P. Thompson)
Silver City Police Capt. Ben Villegas tosses a ball to Salvador Quintana during the second annual Summer Bash School Supply Pool Party. The event featured games, prizes, music and free food. The entry fee to the event was school supplies, which will be donated to Silver Consolidated Schools. The Silver City Police Department, Grant County DWI Program, and Fraternal Order of Police put the event together.

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