ITALY

Police officers and firefighters are taking to the softball field for a good cause Saturday.

First responders will be raising funds for the Shop with a Hero program.

Brad Elliott, a fundraising committee member, stated Shop with a Hero works to build positive relationships between police officers and firefighters with children through an annual shopping trip during the holiday season.

“We have this annual fundraiser to raise money to take kids that are less fortunate shopping at Christmas time with police officers and firefighters. It originated in Italy seven years ago by the fire department and police department working together,” Elliot said. “It has grown to where we are including kids from the Milford, Maypearl, and Italy school districts. We are going to take 36 kids shopping at Christmas time this year.”

Elliot explained first responders work with the children at the store as they pick out gifts for their family members.

He added it has been a combined effort from multiple agencies working together to fundraise and collect donations across ahead of Saturday's softball game.

The Shop with a Hero program also provides scholarships to graduating seniors.

The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. at the softball fields at 300 S. College Street in Italy. Admission is free. The softball game starts at 7 p.m. followed by a firework show — weather permitting.

There will be 25 door prizes to give away along with $700 in gift certificates to Ellis County restaurants. Some of the door prizes include a movie basket with popcorn, candy and four movie passes to Showbiz Cinemas in Waxahachie. Another item is a Texas Rangers Basket that includes four tickets. Door prize tickets are a $1 each.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each with the drawing to be held Sept. 11. Some of the items in the raffle include a custom smoker, a rifle from SWFA, and a Yeti cooler

Concessions will be available for purchase at the event and include brisket from the Vault in Waxahachie, hotdogs provided by Spring Market, candy, chips, nachos, and snow cones from MyTee Sweet Snow Cones. MyTee Sweet will be donating a portion of their sales along with all the tips to the Shop with a Hero program.

A helicopter from both the Texas Department of Public Safety and PHI Air Medical will be on display. Members of the Forreston, Maypearl, and Milford fire departments and both the Italy Fire and Police Departments will be present.

Elliot stated they have been able to raise about $12,000, but their goal is $24,000. He wants to encourage everyone to come out to support this important program that touches many lives.

For more information about Shop with a Hero, Elliot can be reached at 214-399-6986.