"I want to be what you are…a cop," said one child when asked what he'd like to be when he grows up. Another mentioned becoming a superhero while yet another said he wasn't sure yet.
"That's OK, you've got plenty of time to figure that out," saidthe adults present at the table, who were there to assist the children in a very special day for them called "Shop with a Cop".
Five children, ranging in age from six to eight, were gathered with the four Lehigh Township police officers and two of their wives to share breakfast at the Blue Mountain Drive In & Family Restaurant along Blue Mountain Drive in Danielsville on Saturday morning.
Afterward, they planned to take a shopping trip together to the Kmart in Walnutport, where each child would get to spend $125 on presents for themself and their family.
The nationwide program for police departments that choose to participate, first began in Lehigh Township just last year, Police Chief Scott Fogel said. He said it started after an area resident inquired about it.
"We didn't think we were going to be able to start it last year because of the time frame, trying to get sponsors and everything," said Fogel, "but it actually worked out very well, we were able to get everything that we needed within a very short period of time."
Both years, the police department has asked the Lehigh Township Elementary School to assist in choosing a couple of families they determine could use a little extra assistance over the holiday season.
This year, five children were invited to join in with the department for breakfast and a shopping spree. Those children included two sets of twins and an older brother: Paige and Raya Kraus, both 8, Mark and Travis Pagano, both 6, and their brother, Dale, 8.
Meanwhile, the officers and helpers who participated this year were Matthew and Dawn Enstrom, Fogel, John and Tirzah Henry and John Roth.
The morning of the event, the officers drove to the children's homes, presented their mothers with a $75 Pathmark gift card toward Christmas dinner then brought the children to the restaurant for an hour-long breakfast.
While at the restaurant, the children were allowed to order anything they wanted off the menu, said owner Lisa Csencsits, who donates food and services each year for the program.
"It's a good cause for the township," said Csencsits, "and kids are my soft spot."
After breakfast, the entire group headed to Kmart, where each officer and/or helper was assigned one child with whom to shop. Upon finishing their shopping and all checking out together in one line, the group then proceeded to a wrapping station provided at Kmart, where two volunteers from Susquehanna Bank helped the children and officers wrap the presents.
While one twin said his favorite part was being able to have his own toys this year, another of the twins, Paige, said her favorite part was being able to spend money on her family.
"The kids love it, and it's just a great time," Fogel said.
Along with the Blue Mountain Drive-In and Restaurant and Kmart, other 2013 sponsors included First Niagara Bank, the Lehigh Township Police Association, Lehigh Valley Spinal Care, Susquehanna Bank and anonymous citizens of Lehigh Township.
Henry said some Kmart customers who saw the kids shopping even walked up randomly to donate cash toward the event.