By Patrick Lacombe, Correspondent
The Belton Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association held a fundraiser on March 7, at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers located at 7036 West Adams Avenue in Temple. Members of the Belton Police Department, along with the BCPAAA, greeted customers at the door and the drive-throu line asking them to mention the BCPAAA when paying in order for the BCPAAA to receive a part of the meal cost. Meal prices were not increased for the fundraiser.
According to Debra Smith, BCPAAA President, “The event was a huge success. We raised $353 from food sales and another $73 in donations from customers. All money collected goes to help and support the Belton Police Department to buy equipment for the officers and support them in their mission to serve and protect the citizens of Belton.”
The BCPAAA held their first Freddy’s fundraiser in December 2016. “It went well, but it was held the same day as the Temple Christmas Parade. So turnout was kind of light, but we still raised $271 at that fundraiser.” said Smith.
There was no light turnout at the current fundraiser with the weather cooperating with clear skies and near perfect temps. Christina Santiago of Temple attended the fundraiser along with her daughter, Lyneli. “We just happened to pick Freddy’s tonight to eat and I’m glad we did. I think this is a wonderful cause and my daughter had so much fun meeting the Policemen and women and especially “Badge.” said Santiago. A huge favorite of the kids, Badge is the mascot of the Belton Police Department and attends numerous events in and around Belton.
Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis greeted people at the door answering questions and thanking people for supporting the BCPAAA. Chief Ellis said, “It’s great to see this many people here and I just want to thank them for their support. I especially would like to thank Freddy’s, along with store manager Stephanie Gallant, for letting us have this fundraiser here and supporting the PD.”
Co-founded in 2002 by brothers Bill and Randy Simon, and their friend and business partner, Scott Redler, the three men named the restaurant after Bill and Randy’s father, Freddy Simon, a World War II veteran. Freddy grew up on a farm near Colwich, Kan., and signed up for the infantry in the U.S. Army just six days after graduating high school in June 1943. After years of fighting in places around the Pacific Rim during World War II, Freddy was wounded by mortar fire. He earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his service, and returned home safely. Following World War II, he worked hard for 56 years while raising his family. Freddy believes he is “the luckiest man in the world.” In between his visits to high school history classes, Freddy actively participates in veterans groups, and takes part in World War II memorial events across the United States.
The BCPAAA is made up exclusively of CHIPS volunteers. You must first attend the Belton Citizens Police Academy to become a CHIPS volunteer and subsequently a member of the BCPAAA.