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Poker run benefits kids
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Proceeds from a poker run this weekend will benefit the Dawson County Sheriff's annual Shop with a Cop event.

The run departs from the Dawson County Law Enforcement Center on Tucker Avenue beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. Breakfast will be available.

There will be three additional stops through the north Georgia Mountains. Riders will receive a card at each stop.

The ride will conclude at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex for the barbecue dinner and prizes.

"We have plenty of door prizes that have been donated from area businesses," said organizer Doug Boyle.

Prizes will be given for best hand. There will also be a 50/50 raffle.

"Walmart has graciously donated a 37-inch TV that we'll be raffling off," Boyle said.

Raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5.

Fees to participate are $25 per rider and $10 for a passenger.

The event will help fund Sheriff Billy Carlisle's Shop with a Cop program.

"There's such a need in this community," Carlisle said.

Last Christmas, more than a dozen officers pushed shopping carts filled with toys, clothes and gifts when the program treated four dozen local children to shopping sprees at Walmart.

"I thought because of the economy we were going to see more children needing help this year, so we wanted to do what we can to make sure our local children have Christmas," Boyle said.

Community policing programs, such as Shop with a Cop are part of the department's efforts to create meaningful youth programs and give back to the community.

"This gives the kids an opportunity to see the police are not bad, even if the only other contact they have with the police has been negative," Wooten said. "And our officers have so much fun interacting with the kids and seeing how excited they get."

For more information about the Shop with a Cop program, contact Wooten at (706) 344-3535.