By Jim Newell
It’s time for another round of Clergy, Cops and Kids, the match that makes the lives of some of Orion’s residents a little better – and others a lot more fun.
Clergy, Cops and Kids, now in its third year, benefits the Lake Orion Police Department’s Kids & Kops program and summer youth sports programs, and the Lake Orion United Methodist Church (LOUMC) community outreach programs.
The fundraiser features an adult beverage tent, raffles, cornhole boards, face painting for the kids (or adults), an ice cream social at 20 Front Street, food from Jets Pizza and freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.
Musical performances throughout the day are:
• 3-3:45 p.m. – Essence Church Band with Erica Mourad.
• 4:15-5 p.m. – Lindsey Will & Allie Louise.
• 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Obed Succari and his PanaMO Trio.
• 7-8 p.m. – Firmly Rooted Band.
• 8:30-10:30 p.m. – Drew Shultz and the Broken Habits (Motown).
“The only thing missing is apple pie for an American summer kickoff,” said LOPD Chief Jerry Narsh. “It’s kind of the first party of the summer (in Lake Orion).”
There is no admission fee and kids are welcome to attend the family-friendly event, with all proceeds staying in the Orion community, said John Ball, pastor at Lake Orion United Methodist Church.
And while the Lake Orion United Methodist Church and LOPD host the event, members of other law enforcement agencies, public safety (such as firefighters or EMS) and clergy from other church denominations are invited to participate and volunteer.
“Anyone law enforcement or church is welcome to join us. It’s Clergy, Cops and Kids.,” Narsh said, adding he was going to see if Orion Township firefighters wanted to join the event.
The genesis for the fundraiser came after Ball decided that the Methodist church needed to increase its presence in the community. He sat down with Narsh and together brainstormed the idea of partnering to support causes dear to both of them.
“We recognized that a lot of the services we were providing overlapped,” Ball said. “The vision is the same, the organizations are different.”
“And we combined our visions,” Narsh said.
Ball, along with others from the church and the Orion Area Youth Assistance often help out at Kids & Kops.
The LOUMC provides a free meal every Monday to anyone who attends the church’s community meal evening, emotional therapy for low income individuals and families, and a community assistance fund that helps residents with incidentals and those in crisis.
On the web: lakeorionumc.org.
Kids and Kops is a LOPD program in which police officers host kids’ nights for students at Blanche Sims Elementary, playing games, sports, eating pizza and spending time building relationships with police officers. On the web: lakeorion.org – follow the “Police” link under the “Departments” tab.
Narsh plans for the Kids & Kops program to run every other Friday beginning in November through March 2019. This winter, 60-100 kids attended each of the five Kids & Kops evenings.
Kids & Kops evenings also give parents an opportunity to get out on their own for a few hours.
“We joke that with Kids & Kops parents get a Friday night free to themselves,” Narsh said. “(Clergy, Cops and Kids) is their time to help us so that they can go out those Friday nights when we have the kids.”
All future Clergy, Cops and Kids fundraisers will be on the first Saturday in June, Narsh said.
The Lake Orion Review is a sponsor of this year’s Clergy, Cops and Kids.