ASHLAND The 77th Annual Policeman’s Ball was held on Saturday at the Boyd County Community Center, with proceeds supporting the beloved Shop with a Cop program to help needy children.

Ashland Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3 held the event. The Shop with a Cop program has made wishes come true for hundreds of underprivileged children who Christmas-shop alongside a police officer or deputy.

Rick RIffe, a Boyd County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sheriff and Ashland Community and Technical College resource officer, serves as the F.O.P. Lodge President and said the annual event was a success. Riffe joined the lodge in 1984 and has been president since 2010. He has been involved in the ball for approximately 35 years.

“It was a sold-out event,” said Riffe.

The total amount raised that night has not yet been calculated, said Riffe.

“I think we had a successful night; everyone had a good time,” said Riffe. “We’re looking forward to the 78th one next year.”

Dec. 7 is the annual Shop with a Cop event at Ashland Walmart located on Riverhill Drive. Children will attend and shop alongside officers and deputies from the Ashland Police Department, Catlettsburg Police Department and Boyd County Sheriff's Department.

Riffe said that the F.O.P. Lodge is still accepting donations for “Shop with a Cop.” Those wishing to assist officers with this program can mail a check to P.O. Box 27, Ashland, KY 41105 or drop one off to the F.O.P. Lodge at 2549 Carter Ave. Those with additional questions on how to donate are encouraged to contact the lodge at (606) 325-8494.

“They can also make donations at the Ashland Police Department, the Catlettsburg Police Department or the Boyd County Sheriff's Department,” said Riffe.

Riffe said that donations received after Dec. 7 will still be applied towards helping local children in need, as there is a secondary Shop with a Cop event held each year in August to help children get back-to-school clothing.

“It's important to kids to have adequate clothes and clothes that fit,” said Riffe. “With a low-income home or no-income home, this is an expensive need.”

Riffe said the amount raised will directly impact how many children they are able to help with Shop with a Cop. Throughout the two Shop with a Cop events annually, in addition to the events sponsored, these donations impact more than 100 children each year, said Riffe.

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