Tuesday, December 20, 2011

27th Annual Holiday Food Program “A Real Christmas Story.”

Upper Marlboro, MD…Sheriff High and the department heads from each of the Prince George’s County public safety agencies welcomed County Executive Rushern Baker and Mayor of Brentwood Roger Rudder to the official kickoff of the 27th Annual Holiday Food Basket Program, one of the largest projects of the county’s public safety agencies non-profit Public Safety Assistance Program.  The kickoff marks the beginning of days of delivering over 3,000 baskets to county families in need of assistance.
Tradition prevailed at this year’s kickoff of the Holiday Food Basket ceremony as dozens of sworn and civilian employees from public safety agencies and other departments started the day with Firefighter Thomas H. Smith’s “Hearty Fireman’s Breakfast” at the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station #855 in Brentwood, MD.
Bill Milligan, Executive Director of the Public Safety Assistance Program, began the ceremony on the Fire Station ground floor where employees and supporters were surrounded by hundreds of boxes ready for packing and delivery.
Sheriff Melvin C. High who serves as this year’s President of the Public Safety Assistance Program Board, which is comprised of public agency heads and employees, spoke about giving in his opening remarks saying, “What we all know about giving is that the great joy of giving is the very act itself, for its ability to uplift the giver as well as those to whom the giver has the privilege of giving.”
County Executive Baker thanked everyone for their generosity and for their commitment to the work it takes to make the program successful.  Remembering that the 2010 Holiday Food Basket kickoff was one of the first public events he attended, the County Executive said, “ I recognize that an enormous amount of work goes into getting these baskets ready for delivery to those in need.  I appreciate efforts of our public safety employees to make this special program happen.  There are so many families that are grateful for the joy that these baskets will bring.”
Sheriff High introduced the members of the Board, including Vice Chair, Fire/EMS Chief Bashoor and other board members, including Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Public Safety Barry Stanton, Police Chief Mark Magaw, Department of Corrections Director Mary Lou McDonough and Director of Homeland security Brian Moe.  DCAO Stanton and Chief Bashoor recognized Bill Milligan for his commitment to the program and thanked companies for their contributions, as well as public safety employees who volunteer each year.
Milligan recognized a number of companies who helped the Food Basket Program overcome the challenges presented by the late summer floods which damaged and destroyed approximately $15,000 of canned and non-perishable foods, food collection barrels and equipment that the program uses as it begins each New Year.
Sheriff High also talked about the challenges presented by the floods saying that the Board members put their heads together and agreed to ask members of each agency to help close the gap left by the floods with an in-house campaign.  High said that as a result of the great partnerships Milligan has built over the years many of them stepped forward to help so that the collection barrels, pallets and equipment were quickly replaced.
“It’s a real Christmas story,” said Sheriff High. “To date, the in-house campaign has raised $9,288, our partners in the media helped us share the story about our loss, and many of our partners gave us even more.”
The following organizations were recognized for their generosity: Banks Foundation – Scott Management, Bunker Hill Fire Station #855, Costco, DC Venture’s, Inc., Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Prince George’s County, Inc., Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #89, Inc., GenOn Energy, Inc., International Assoc. of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, NAI the Michael Companies, Inc., Pepsi Bottling Company, Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union, Prince George’s County Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Prince George’s Association of Realtors, Inc., The Roof Center, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Sigma Space, Washington Redskins, Watkins Park Festival of Lights.

For more information contact Cpl. William Milam from the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office Press Information Office at 301-780-2773

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