Cops for Kids Fly-In brings joy to the children of Children’s Hospital
Captain Leo Bell, who pilots the agile red helicopter behind him, grins it up with a youthful admirer from Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital as evidence technician Dawn Boggs of the Riverside Police Department captures the moment with her camera. Officer Boggs flew in the helicopter from San Bernardino International Airport, documenting the airborne goodwill mission with her camera.
It isn’t every day that kids get to climb inside a helicopter, straddle a horse, or sit on a motorcycle, but for the children who came out to watch the ninth annual Cops for Kids Fly-In at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital on Tuesday, September 18, 2007, it was the stuff of cherished memories.
“Kids tend to idolize cops anyway,” says Melissa King, special events planner for Children’s Hospital. “For them to be able to meet so many officers in person and climb all over their shiny equipment was simply awe-inspiring. You should have seen the looks on their faces!”
No sooner had the engines died on the helicopters than the kids came over to check things out. Some came on foot, others in wheelchairs, still others dragging their IV poles behind them. All seemed determined to get up close and personal with the officers and enjoy some quality time with their crime-fighting technology firsthand. At the end of the meet and greet session, everyone retreated back inside the hospital where each child got to select a toy of his or her own as a gift from the officers.
The Cops for Kids Fly-In was organized in 1999 as officers Jeff Werblun, of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and Don Miskulin, of the Riverside Police Department, started wondering what they could do to lighten the load of hospitalized children.
In addition to Loma Linda, the event has grown to include the UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Davis, California, and Shriners Hospitals for Children in Sacramento.
“Needless to say,” Ms. King adds, “the kids were ecstatic! We can’t thank the generous men and women from Cops for Kids enough for what they do!”
By James Ponder
A young patient from Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital takes a moment to savor the view from the helicopter. The aircraft was one of three that landed at Loma Linda during the ninth annual Cops for Kids Fly-In on Tuesday, September 18, 2007.
An unidentified man snaps a picture of the largest of three helicopters that descended on the green between the Coleman Pavilion, Prince Hall, and Loma Linda University Church during the Cops for Kids Fly-In. After landing, officers of law enforcement organizations as close to home as San Bernardino and Riverside, and as far away as Sacramento, brought toys to the patients of Children’s Hospital.