TAUNTON — Chief Edward J. Walsh is pleased to announce that a local family received a donation this week from the non-profit organization Cops for Kids with Cancer during a meet-and-greet at the Taunton Police Department.
On Monday, Jan. 16, Massachusetts retired Sgt. Thomas Reed, fellow Cops for Kids with Cancer board member Dennis Symmons and associate member Mark Wilcox presented a $5,000 check to the Dupra-Peterson family. The donation will cover expenses relating to 10-year-old Jace Dupra, who is currently battling stage four medulloblastoma.
Dupra’s mother, Donielle Peterson, accepted the check with Dupre. Taunton Police officers were on hand and met with the family.
Officer Evan Lavigne of the Taunton Police Department was in attendance to meet Dupra, not only for the award, but because he has also struggled with cancer. Lavigne was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2015, entered remission in April 2015, and attended the police academy that September.
“When I heard about Jace’s visit, I had to meet him. Meeting Jace and seeing his personality shine reminded me of my experience walking through Children’s Hospital,” Lavigne said. “I remember thinking how tragic it was that children had to battle this disease that I was battling. The children battling cancer were always the most upbeat and positive. This helped me immensely in my fight with cancer. I thought, if a child can be positive and fight this disease with a smile, so can I.”
Lavigne showed Dupra his patrol car, where he inspected all the gadgets, shouted some commands over the intercom, and activated the lights and sirens.
“Jace grabbed the steering wheel, looked over to me and said ‘I could totally drive this thing.’ My hope is that someday, when this is all behind him, he does,” Lavigne said.
Cops for Kids with Cancer will be hosting a cornhole tournament on Saturday, Jan. 21, at Article 15 Brewing Co., 406 VFW Drive, Rockland, for first responders, family, and friends to raise money for the organization. Registration for the event begins at 2 p.m. and the tournament will begin promptly at 2:30 p.m.
Each team for the event will consist of two people and is $100 per team. There will be prizes for the teams that place in the top three spots. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and food trucks on site.
All proceeds go directly to Cops for Kids With Cancer.
“The Taunton Police Department is honored to be able to host the Dupre-Peterson family and wish to thank the leadership, board members, and sponsors of the Cops for Kids with Cancer organization for their work in our community,” Chief Walsh said.
For more information on Cops for Kids with Cancer and to donate, click here.