Annual Cops for Kids Fly-in brings cheer to LLUCH
Jeff Werblun, deputy for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (left); Zareh Sarrafian, MBA, administrator of LLU Children’s Hospital (center); and Don Miskulin, from Riverside Police Department (right), hold up a thank-you poster patients at the Children’s Hospital created for the officers.
On Tuesday, October 25, helicopters from police departments across Southern California flew into the San Bernardino International Airport, landing at the sheriff’s hangar loaded with toys for children at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
The event—co-hosted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the Riverside Police Department, and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department—is the end result of toy drives at various police departments culminating in a spectacular delivery to the Children’s Hospital. More than 60 police officers from agencies across Southern California filled vans with toys to caravan to the Children’s Hospital. A motorcycle escort led the procession from the airport to the hospital.
The law enforcement officials brought toys and smiles for every young patient.
One of the biggest smile producers was the special landing made on the north lawn. This year, two helicopters landed on-site at the hospital. Children’s Hospital patients were able to get an up-close and personal look at the police helicopters.
The toy drive and spectacular delivery were organized by Deputy Jeff Werblun, a pilot for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and director of the Cops for Kids Fly-in, now a non-profit organization, and Officer Don Miskulin, pilot for the Riverside Police Department.
Juliette Palacious, a 4-year-old LLUCH patient from San Bernardino, is helped out of the helicopter by Riverside police officer and pilot Don Miskulin.
Bridger Thurston, 9 years old, from St. George, Utah, sits in the Riverside Police Department helicopter during the Cops for Kids Fly-in. Bridger is recovering from an auto accident that happened on the way to visit his grandparents in Southern California.