By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Corporal J.R. Wince, is now stationed in the Parsons Detachment of the WV State Police. He is a part of the Seneca Trail Lodge 104, a non-profit, which serves Randolph, Tucker, Barbour, Grant, Pocahontas, and Pendleton Counties which hold several fundraisers with their main goal set on providing a Christmas for invited youth that they will not soon forget.
The FOP was founded in 1915 by two Pittsburg, Pa. patrol officers, Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle. It escalated to a nationally recognized organization in 1918 that now boasts approximately 2,100 local lodges, state lodges, and the national Grand Lodge. There are nearly 350,000 members consisting all of sworn in law enforcement officers nationwide.
Some of their main objectives include lobbying to Congress and regulatory officials, labor representation, and promoting legal defense for officers. The FOP is also well known for sponsoring charity events such as Easter Seals, Special Olympics, memorials for fallen officers, support programs for officers and their families, and many more.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, the FOP is accepting donations of $5, which will purchase an eight inch by twelve inch American Flag that will be displayed at Veteran’s Intersection in Elkins. You will be asked a name and branch of service so these can be displayed in honor of a past, present, or forth coming military members. Cpl. Wince explained that some people choose to donate for a flag that may be in honor of any branch, or all of our troops as well. There is also a plan to publish the names and branches of each veteran represented throughout this effort in the local media. They do not have to be for a specific person. The money will be collected by October 31 to provide ample time to purchase enough flags for the display.
The big event worked toward each year is the Christmas Party hosted to serve under privileged youth in the area. The first Saturday of December, approximately 400 youth are invited to attend this event where they are greeted with cookies, donuts, and hot cocoa and fellowship. The FOP members provide a new set of winter gear for each child, which includes hats and gloves in addition to a high quality gift. Even though it is a busy season, the FOP sends out a request to Santa Clause himself in hopes he can take a break and stop by for a quick visit at the event. Last year, even Mrs. Clause was able to set aside some time to visit with the kids and take some pictures.
If you are interested in either purchasing a flag or donating to the Christmas party, you can contact Cpl Wince of the Parsons Detachment of the WV State Police. The only request is no donations of toys as they strive to make the gifts equal across all children, though monetary donations and that of new winter gear is welcome.