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Cops Take Kids Shopping

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Nine lucky Columbia Falls kids got to Shop with a Cop today at the Kalispell Target, and I could barely keep up.

Braden Kearney, 7, began his shopping spree with two hundred dollars to spend, donated by the community over the past year, plus twenty bucks pitched in by Target. We first headed over to get some winter gear, and it was not long before I was lagging behind.

Next, we high tailed it over to the toy section, Where I was informed no one cares anymore about Pokemon. It's all about something called Skylander.

"It is awesome," Braden offered as an explanation.

While Braden puts some of his finds in the cart, officer Gary Standberry keeps a running total going to make sure we do not go over our budget. The spree was not just about Braden, though.

"Could be for sister," said Braden over an electronic Simon Says.

"A lot of times what they do is not only do they take care of themselves, but they take care of their family members," said Standberry.

"These are my brothers," said Braden, holding some socks.

Braden thought his four sisters and his brother could benefit from some new socks. Nearing the $220 mark, we headed over to a special checkout lane and Braden looked over his loot.

"He is mean," said Braden, pointing to one action figure, "when bad guys come to him."

"It brings a smile to our face. It makes me proud of our community that donated," said Standberry.

Braden was one of the youngest out shopping today. The oldest was fifteen. Unfortunately, now Braden will have to wait until Christmas to play with what he got.

The Columbia Falls Elementary School counselors recommended three families for the Shop with a Cop program, nine kids in total.

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