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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Back-to-school giveaway helped by police in Berlin

(Aug. 27, 2015) The Berlin Police Department had a busy weekend – in the best way possible.
On Friday, police took part in the 22nd Annual Crime Prevention Golf Tournament at Eagle’s Landing. The department uses proceeds from the event to promote community activities and assist community organizations in the Berlin area.
On the following day, Berlin police also participated in a back-to-school drive in Henry Park.
Although Police Chief Arnold Downing said turnout was slightly below the 300-plus organizers had planned for, it was still a “nice crowd.”
“Because of the social calendar, we had folks that were going to football games and all kinds of things going on, but we had a great time and great support,” he said.
During the event, organizers gave out close to 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in kindergarten through eighth grade. On the following day, many of the remaining bags were donated to West Ocean City nonprofit Diakonia, along with food left over from Saturday’s event.
Additional school supplies were given to children at Sunshine Apartments in Berlin.
“Being Santa Claus and being on this end of giving is something that’s very rewarding,” Downing said. “We often don’t give things like that out, so we’re very pleased with the weekend as a whole.”
Downing said Victorian Charm, First Shore Federal, BRAVE and Bay Terrace Garden Apartments all made financial contributions to the event. Wal-Mart gave money and in-kind donations, Staples provided paper, and town staff added cash donations and volunteer aid.
Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, Homes of Berlin, Next Level Group, Pepsi, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Kool Ice, OC 104 also provided assistance on Saturday.
Parents and children were provided with hot dogs, chips and drinks, and Next Level Group, featuring Beauty and the Beatz, and Devon Beck and Asa offered entertainment. Face painting for children was offered by Doretta Hardy-Manuel.     
“We’re a blessed community to have folks step up in that kind of way,” Downing said.
Mayor Gee Williams praised the effort by Berlin police.
“I think this is one of the best examples of the spirit of the family of Berlin I’ve seen in a long time,” he said. “It’s just incredible and I hope that that this becomes a new tradition.
“It’s very moving when I think about all that’s going on in this country, and our police department is sincerely trying to make this community … a better place,” Williams continued.
Berlin natives Nathan Marshall and Ty Waters originally presented the idea before the town council on July 13.
“Really [the event] tells you the spirit itself of those young men,” Downing said. “One lives outside of D.C. and one lives outside of Annapolis, and they said they wanted to go ahead and do something for their community. That really made us feel real good.
“They kept that connection and they had that dream, and they followed through with it,” Downing continued. “I’m really proud of those guys.”