By Jim Newell
It’s time for another round of Clergy, Cops and Beer, the match that makes the lives of some Orion’s residents a little better – and others’ a lot more fun, at least for a day.
The fundraiser to benefit the Lake Orion Police Department’s Kids and Kops program and the Lake Orion United Methodist Church (LOUMC) community outreach programs is 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. June 17.
Flint Street between Broadway and Anderson streets will close for the event, which features food from area restaurants, raffles (including grill and other items), music from four bands throughout the day and, of course, a full bar.
There is no admission fee and kids are welcome to attend the family-friendly event. Proceeds from food and beverage sales, raffles and donation buckets support the LOPD and LOUMC.
Pastor John Ball of the LO United Methodist Church said he is always impressed with how the Lake Orion community rallies to support its own.
“What I’ve seen here is a legitimate, sincere concern for people in the fringe who are struggling and need assistance,” Ball said.
This year’s Clergy, Cops and Beer has 12 local sponsors, including The Lake Orion Review.
This is the third Clergy, Cops and Beer. Last summer the first event raised $6,000 and Clergy, Cops and Beer .5 at Lockhart’s this winter raised another $4,500.
The genesis for the fundraiser came after Ball, who’s been in Lake Orion for four years, decided that the church needed to increase its presence in the community.
He sat down with LOPD Chief Jerry Narsh and together brainstormed the idea of partnering to support causes dear to both of them.
“We asked ourselves (at the church), if we are going to be in this community, what do we really need to do to be a presence here and really be a part of this community,” Ball said of the LOUMC.
Ball said the partnership with the LOPD – maybe not necessarily made in heaven – is a boon for the community and that Narsh and his officers always find a way to help out.
“Their force is very solidified, very committed, and when there are events like this they really show up and make things happen.”
Michael J. Gingell, chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, is a sponsor of this year’s Clergy, Cops and Beer.
“This event helps raise awareness and funds for important local initiatives that benefit the Lake Orion community and its residents,” Gingell said in a press release. “I encourage people to come out and support our local police department and the community assistance efforts of the Lake Orion United Methodist Church, whose important work helps people in need in our area.”
The LOUMC provides a free meal every Monday to anyone who attends, emotional therapy for low income individuals and families, and a community assistance fund that helps residents with incidentals such as rent, gas cards, utilities and food cards.
Kids and Kops is a grant-funded program created by the LOPD that pairs off-duty officers with kids from the Orion/Oxford Boys & Girls Club. The program provides weekly interaction between police and youth in an informal and fun setting to improve dialog and communication and create a long-lasting relationship between cops and kids in the community.
Steven Drakos, Attorney at Law
Mary Rodgers, Farmers Insurance
Kevin Laidler, Laidler Law Office
Lake Orion Review
Lakes Community Credit Union
Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home
Matt Pfeiffer, Nothern Flooring
Nick Horvath, State Farm Insurance
Bell Equipment Co.
County Commissioner Michael Gingell, 1st District