2022 Council Rock North Class raises $11,000 for shopping with a cop

Newtown, Pennsylvania – Thanks to the invitation of Council Rock North 2022 alumnus TJ Blancado, more kids will experience a happy holiday season coming December.

Through the efforts of Blancado and the school’s Student Executive Council, students at CRN raised $11,000 during the 2021-22 school year for Shop With A Cop, a nonprofit organization that aims to make vacations brighter for kids going through a tough time.

Standing in front of high school a few days before graduation on a sunny June afternoon, Blancado made the third and final pick of the year for Shop With A Cop.

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Among those available to accept the donation were Newtown District Judge Mick Petrucci and Newtown Township Police Sergeant Paul Debbie. They were joined by Newtown Borough Police Chief James Sabbath, Middletown Police Officer Melissa Robison, and Macfield Police Senior Sgt.
Daniel Jones.

The last check for $5,800 was from a charity pageant for the male-only Mr. CRN, which Blancado won back in March. He dazzled the judges by playing the piano from the harmonica.

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During the competition, seniors don tuxedos and compete for the prestigious title of “Mr. CRN” by performing short skits and coming up with the best pick-up lines. The competition also included a Q&A and a group dance, all to raise money for local charities.

Winner receives a free prom ticket, free tuxedo rentals of Schweon dress and dress, and flowers from Bucks County Roses. In addition, 60 percent of the event proceeds are donated to the charity of the winner’s choice.

“There were some guys who I thought were better queens than me, but I was happy to win and raise money for Shop With A Cop,” Blancado said.

At the start of the school year, Blancado also persuaded the Student Executive Board to choose Shop With A Cop as the preferred charity for the school year.

The board then put the money raised in two major events — Blue and White Night, the biggest school-wide event of the year, and Car Smash, held in conjunction with Fall Fest — to shop with A Cop.

For the car smash, the students had to use paint hammers and a sled to throw a junk car supplied by the Lynne Bethman & Sons Auto Center.

“We (John) Hearn, the Newtown Sheriff, took our first proud flips to get it all done. And I was gone. People were jumping on the car and smashing it,” Petrucci said.

After receiving a recent donation from Blancado, Petrucci couldn’t help but feel so lucky and proud to have such a Shop With A Cop defender at school.

“To me, TJ is a rock star,” Petrucci said. “The fact that he chose Shop With A Cop is amazing. He knows who I am. He sees what I’m doing with Shop With A Cop, but I didn’t twist his arm. He came close to me. And when he did, all I could do was say, ‘Wow.'” Thank you.”

“It’s a really great honor,” Petrucci added. “And the fact that he’s helping to spread the good word about Shop With A Cop throughout the school is amazing.”

The young man’s invitation also brought a lot of thanks and praise from local police officers who believe strongly in Shop With A Cop and dedicate a lot of volunteer time to the effort.

“I like to keep it local, you guys,” said Robison. “It’s great that you did that and realized that there were a lot of needs in our backyard. And you would help a lot of people.”

In addition to serving on the Student Executive Council, Blancado has played lacrosse, served as president of the Veterans Club and was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America at CR North.

Blancado’s future plans include spending a semester abroad in Glasgow, Scotland before continuing his education at Northeastern University in Boston. He will major in Finance at Northeastern University with career aspirations to become a financial advisor.

Funds raised by Blancado and the Executive Council will be used by Shop With A Cop to provide a memorable and exhilarating vacation for children in the struggling Council Rock School District.

Shop With a Cop, a holiday shopping experience like no other, brings together local police officers and kids facing life’s challenges, including losing a parent a job, personal tragedy, homelessness, military deployments, economic shortcomings, and other hardships.

At this event, each child is allocated between $150 and $200 to buy gifts for him and his family members. The kids are then joined on their holiday shopping trip by the police officers who are there to help them with their shopping experience.

Donations can be made to shop with a policeman for the Middletown community
A non-profit charitable organization. In the memo line write “SWAC”. Checks can be sent to PO Box 1128, Langhorne 19047.

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