Sheriff’s posse raising money to help area needy for holidays

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 1999

With Christmas season here, the time of giving and sharing has begun and the Butler County Sheriff's Posse is one of the organizations that will be leading the way.

The Posse will be raising money over the next few weeks that will go toward the purchase of food baskets and toys for Butler County's needy and elderly families. A list of names will be acquired from the Department of Human Resources, Family Services and other agencies of people for whom the gifts will be given.

This will be the second year the posse has promoted this project. Last year, the members put together and donated 37 food baskets to families across the county. Posse First Director Cecil Gandy said they feel confident that they can increase that total this Christmas.

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"We should be able to double the revenue from what we had last year. I believe that this year will be much bigger than last year. We have already received a sizable donation from Pine Apple Promotions and we have other forms of raising money that we did not have last year," Gandy said.

One way the group will raise more funds is by giving away a miniature horse. Richard Newton, a member of the Posse, has donated one of his horses, Star, to the organization to help assure a big year. The tickets for the miniature horse are being sold for one dollar and can be purchased at various locations in Greenville.

"We have sought other ways of bringing in revenue. Last year, we took money out of our treasury and asked for donations of food from area businesses. We will again take money out of our treasury, but we also want to raise money through other means which is why we are selling the chances to win the horse," Gandy said.

The posse is a unique group. It is a civic organization that is a part of the Sheriff's Office. Members have been deputized, but are not post-certified, meaning they cannot make arrests or act as deputies. However, they are called out when the Sheriff needs more man power such as when they are forming a search party or to provide security at local ball games.

"We are in a unique situation where we can help them with particular needs. Many of us have four wheelers and horses that may give them an advantage when looking for someone who is lost in the woods. Or, we may just go somewhere and help them with crowd control. We help them out in any way we can," he said.

The group is limited to 25 members. Gandy said their main goal is to serve the community in any way they can.

"When somebody is in need of assistance we try to help them," he said. "When we hear about a person or a family who has suffered a tragedy, such as a house fire, we try to help them in whatever way we can, whether it be through a monetary donation or some other way."

The Christmas project is another way that the posse has to serve the community while helping a few more people to experience a happy holiday.

"We plan on doing this as an annual event. The members enjoy taking part and helping to make someone else's Christmas better. We are a community service organization and projects like this is what we were set up for," he said.