Cicero Ethan Bramoff went into the Target in Cicero the morning of Sunday, Dec. 1, with a $100 gift card, a list and a mission: to purchase Christmas gifts for everyone in his family.
“Usually I go with my mom and dad,” said Ethan, 6, a first-grader in Mrs. McAvoy’s class at Cicero Elementary, “and I get everything with them.”
But this year, Ethan had a different shopping buddy: Cicero Police Officer John Fortino.
Ethan was one of several Cicero youth selected to take part in the Cicero Police Department’s Shop with a Cop program. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old are asked to write an essay explaining why they’d like to shop with a member of the police department and describing what the holiday season means to them. Children must be residents of the town of Cicero. Winning essays are selected by members of the Cicero Police Benevolent Association.
Each child is given a $100 Target gift card, provided by a $1,000 grant Target supplies to the Cicero PBA each year.
The program began in 2009.
As for Ethan, in addition to getting to buy his own gifts this year, the main reason he wanted to participate in the program was simple.
“Cops are awesome,” he said.