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First responders make $14,000 Christmas donation
Funds will help K.A.R.E. for Kids buy presents for Dawson children
A-DCES donates to KARE pic
Dawson County Emergency Services personnel collected more than $14,000 over the Black Friday holiday shopping weekend that they donated to K.A.R.E. for Kids, a local nonprofit that provides Christmas presents to Dawson County children in need. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson County News

It was the day after Thanksgiving, and all across town, first responders were collecting donations to turn holiday frowns around.

Taking advantage of the droves of shoppers in town for the Black Friday holiday specials, Dawson County Emergency Services set up fire engines at prime intersections and with their boots in hand, collected more than $14,000 over the weekend.

Last week, the group presented the check to K.A.R.E. for Kids, a local organization that provides Christmas to Dawson County children in need.

"What can I say to them, except to say thank you for all they do, the time that they spend, the support that they give," said David McKee, president of the local nonprofit. "That's a huge donation."

So huge, in fact, that the firefighters, EMTs and paramedics have now broken a fundraising record.

"Outside of our Moonshine Festival fundraiser, that's the largest donation that we've received this year," McKee said. "It certainly helps us out a lot."

For Lt. Paul Cloud, who organized the effort, it was all about supporting his community.

"We do it to supplement what K.A.R.E. for Kids already does for the kids in the community for Christmas," he said. "It goes to our community and helps provide for kids in our community that are less fortunate."

McKee said $14,000 will go a long way for the group that expects to provide Christmas for as many as 700 children this holiday season.

"We shop for each child individually. They get three outfits, and typically get three different toy items," he said. "All of the shopping that we do is within Dawson County. The donations come from the community, and then we turn around and put the money right back into the community."