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Shop with a Hero returns for 21st year in Houghton Lake

HOUGHTON LAKE — Kids in Roscommon County shopped with local first responders Wednesday as part of the 21st annual Shop with a Hero event.

Over the past 21 years, the Shop with a Hero event has given hundreds of kids the chance to shop for presents with local first responders from departments across the county.

“[It’s a] chance to give back, it makes us feel good. It realistically is three hours of our life that over 21 years is so beneficial,” Michigan State Trooper Sgt. Scott Bates said.


Sgt. Bates said Shop with a Hero is something he and other first responders take pride in.

“Many times, children unfortunately see us in a negative light when we have to come to their homes. So, to be able to add a positive situation in their lives for them to see that we’re really people,” Sgt. Bates explained.

Wednesday, 50 kids hopped on a bus with Santa and got an escort through town to Walmart where they got to pick out gifts.

One of the families said they found out their son Oliver was selected on his birthday.


“We’re really excited, it means a lot to us and helps get presents under that tree,” they said. “As a parent especially just moving back to the state, it has been amazing. It helps with the finances and it couldn’t come at a better time.”

Sgt. Bates said Shop with a Hero is the best thing he does all year, as he hopes it continues well on into the future.

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