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Killdeer's AAA Safety Patrol class shops for 30 kids with Dunn County Sheriff's Office

Last week, a group of third graders from Killdeer Public School, who are enrolled in the AAA School Safety Patrol program, shopped with deputies from the Dunn County Sheriff's Office to help provide gifts to 30 children who are less fortunate.

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Dunn County Sheriff Gary Kuhn shops with third graders Eliza Buehner, left, and Ellie Buchman, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Walmart. The two third graders are part of the third grade AAA School Safety Patrol program at Killdeer Public School. As a way to give back to those less fortunate, the class purchased holiday gifts for 30 children in the Dunn County area. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

Killdeer Public School's AAA Safety Patrol program, comprised of third graders, learned valuable lessons this year. Among them were the importance of entrepreneurship, how to be frugal and save money and the joys of being philanthropic for those less fortunate than themselves.

All year the students have been selling Patrol Mix across the local area and growing their savings. Then the moment came that the students had been waiting for. On Thursday, Dec. 9, students took the money they had saved and joined the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office in an annual program aimed at buying holiday gifts for children less fortunate than themselves — 30 children to be exact.

The group of approximately 18 third graders met up with Dunn County Sheriff Gary Kuhn, Cpl. Richard Carney — also known as “Ricky Bobby” to children — and Deputies J Young and Cord Wolters at Walmart in Dickinson to load up carts filled with toy drones, dinosaurs, dolls and more.

Vicki Carney, a special education teacher strategist for Killdeer Public School, helped launch the AAA Safety Patrol program earlier this year.

“This is something I just started the Safety Patrol here at the Killdeer school; we had it at the Belfield school for 10 years and it was an awesome program,” Carney said. “So we adopted it here at the Killdeer school, and we’re going to make this a yearly thing now.”

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Deputy Cord Wolters of the Dunn County Sheriff's Office helps the Killdeer Public School's AAA School Safety Patrol program shop for holiday gifts to give to children who are less fortunate during a meet up Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Dickinson's Walmart. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

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The AAA School Safety Patrol program from Killdeer Public School gets ready to shop with law enforcment officials from the Dunn County Sheriff's Office Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Dickinson's Walmart. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

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Cpl. Richard Carney, also known as "Ricky Bobby," helps Killdeer third graders pick out presents for children less fortunate during a shopping event Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Walmart. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

Throughout the school year, the patrollers sold their own Patrol Mix for $1 per bag and decided to use that money to give back to children who may not be able to have a bountiful Christmas.

“They worked really hard; they made the Patrol Mix; they packaged it up; they sold it in the morning before school and got their money together and here they are to buy gifts for kids less fortunate,” Carney said, adding, “It’s important because it’s helping our kids learn that we can help others and just to be able to help other kids in the community. So it’s a great lesson for them.”

Each student was given an anonymous, yet specific child to shop for. The only information they knew was whether they were shopping for a boy or a girl and they’re age. From there, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office helped the children decided how they wanted to spend $25 on each child on the list.

“So they are figuring out math to where they want to spend $20 (with) two $10 gifts and maybe a $15 gift and a $10 gift. So they’re doing the math themselves and it’s all anonymous, so they don’t know who they’re buying for. So I think that’s kind of neat too,” Carney said.

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Cpl. Richard Carney, also known as "Ricky Bobby," helps Killdeer third graders pick out presents for children less fortunate during a shopping event Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Walmart. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

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Cpl. Richard Carney, also known as "Ricky Bobby," helps Killdeer third graders pick out presents for children less fortunate during a shopping event Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Walmart. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

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Deputy Cord Wolters of the Dunn County Sheriff's Office shops with London Costley and Ava Kindrix of the Killdeer Public School's AAA School Safety Patrol program Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Dickinson's Walmart for holiday gifts to give to children who are less fortunate. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

The patrollers were also able to make this event possible through the donations of Earl Hunt with EJ Consulting LLC, Jeff Skaare and Northern States Fishing Tool Co.

“I’m just so proud of the kids (and) the hard work that they put into getting the money raised and (with) the money they raised, they’re willing to spend it on less fortunate kids in the community. And I’m just very proud of what they’ve done,” Carney added.

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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