Tulsa police, firefighters vie for kettle cash
BY AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer
Saturday, December 22, 2012
12/22/12 at 5:00 AM
When Tulsa Police Department administrators asked Cpl. Scott Anderson to organize volunteers for a friendly competition with the Fire Department to raise money for The Salvation Army, they didn't know the significance the organization held to him and his family.
Anderson's grandfather, who was also a police officer, was killed in a duty-related incident when Anderson's father was a young boy. Besides the Racine (Wis.) Police Department, The Salvation Army was the only charity to offer support and assistance for his family, Anderson said.
He said he was happy to lead the effort and has enjoyed doing so for the past five years.
About 30 Tulsa police officers volunteered to work as bell ringers at the Tulsa Promenade mall, at 41st Street and Yale Avenue, for Friday's contest.
"It's a friendly competition," Anderson said. "We accuse each other of pulling dirty tricks, but it's really just friendly competition."
Fire Capt. Toby Houck was stationed at the mall's main entrance and was confident a little more than an hour into the fund drive that the Tulsa
Fire Department was well on its way to a third win.
"It's going to come flooding in. They're going to have to empty the bucket, (because) it's going to be overflowing," he said.
Yards away, Police Officers Kelly Young and John Cozad, as well as Cozad's children, Evan, 7, and Kaely, 10, were staffing an entrance to J.C. Penney.
Kaely wanted to ring the bell, and Evan was just excited to volunteer with his father, who wanted to model the importance of charity, he said.
"It's all about the community and (doing) everything we can do to help people get a leg up," Young said. "Every little bit helps."
Young credited Evan and Kaely with their quick success Friday morning.
"Man, they can't get out of their cars fast enough" to donate, he said of the shoppers.
Results of this year's contest weren't known late Friday.
Tulsa Gold and Silver will be matching donations to The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign up to $15,000 on Saturday.
All money in the Tulsa-area red kettles stays in the Tulsa area.
Original Print Headline: Police take on firefighters in friendly kettle competition
Amanda Bland 918-581-8413
Tulsa Fire Capt. Toby Houck lets 3-year-old Michael Wilcox ring the bell after Michael made a donation to The Salvation Army outside the Tulsa Promenade mall on Friday, the day Tulsa firefirefighters and police officers competed to see who could raise the most money for the charity. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World
Tulsa Police Officer John Cozad greets retired Officer Ray Randolph while Cozad's children, Evan and Kaely, ring The Salvation Army bell at the mall Friday. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World