Last Friday, a couple members of local law enforcement strolled into the offices of the Rome News-Tribune.

Sgt. Chris Fincher and Sgt. Stephen Wacker had been going door to door at local businesses (in the hot sun) to ask for money for a very important cause.

They’re raising all the money they can for the Coosa Valley Lodge 14 Fraternal Order of Police. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a great local organization whose members represent various branches of law enforcement. Even though their day-to-day jobs are to keep the community safe, they find the time (through this organization) to go a step further in helping the residents of Rome and Floyd County.

One of the things they do is provide financial and other services to law enforcement families in need.

Most recently they raised funds for the #PrayForKimberly movement to support Kimberly Graham, a former 911 dispatcher who was involved in a motor vehicle crash in March, four days after she was transferred to the Floyd County Police Department. The crash left her with very serious injuries and the FOP was one of the organizations that organized several fundraisers and collected money to help Kimberly and her family with her recovery and medical expenses.

The Fraternal Order of Police also sponsored Rome and Floyd County school counselors for a total of $4,000 last year to buy supplies and stock their clothes closets. They also donated to the Shrine Club and helped with the annual Floyd Against Drugs Teen Maze.

Perhaps the most visible activity the organization is known for is that they conduct a Christmas shopping event each holiday season, where members of law enforcement take local needy kids to the store and buy them Christmas presents. Many of these kids would not get anything for Christmas if it wasn’t for this program. They raised and spent $13,000 for last year’s event, usually helping two children from every local school. However, when those neediest of children have siblings (which many of them do), then the siblings are included as well.

Y’all should see the photos that they take at the event every year. These kids are OVERJOYED to get the simplest of gifts. It really breaks your heart to know that if not for this program, these little kids might get absolutely nothing for Christmas.

Last year, 57 kids were helped by the Christmas Shopping program and the FOP would love to help even more children this year. Imagine having a hand in ensuring that these babies (who through no fault of their own are living in poverty) get to wake up to brand new toys on Christmas day.

Here’s how we can help out.

They need donations. The Coosa Valley Lodge is a small lodge and really depends on the community’s help to do the work they do. If there are any businesses or individuals in Rome (or in the area) that would like to donate, I know it would be much appreciated. The FOP has a Facebook page and the 2019 executive board includes Chris Fincher, Matt Henry, Jerome Poole and Rusty Williams, so I’m sure you can contact any of those gentlemen to donate. Or email

In addition to that, they’re hosting a Charity Golf Tournament on Sept. 27 at Stonebridge Golf Club. It’s a four-man scramble. The cost is $350 per team. Lunch will be provided and there are prizes for first, second and third place, as well as door prizes. Hole sponsorships are available as well as team sponsorships. You an email registration information to the email above or mail it to 3 Central Plaza #143 Rome, Ga. 30161.

I wanna give a big shoutout to Matt Medley State Farm. After Sgts. Fincher and Wacker left the newspaper, I told em to go over to Matt Medley because he has been very good in the past when it comes to making donations to local charitable causes. Well, sure enough, as soon as they went over there, Matt Medley wrote ’em a check. That was wonderful to see. Others who have stepped up to donate include Teresa Lumsden State Farm, Lloyd’s Rome Towing and Auto Repair Service and Knight’s Jewelers. Thank y’all for answering the call to help.

I’ve always said that Romans are generous when called upon to help a variety of organizations. No matter what fundraiser’s goin’ on (and there’s always something goin’ on) people in this community come through for their neighbors. Y’all write checks, give cash, buy T-shirts, buy raffle tickets or just show up and support an event. Folks around here don’t appreciate just how generous this community is. There are lots of other places where people just stay in their lane and only look out for themselves. Be thankful that we live in a place where help is given when needed most.

If you’re reading this, please consider either making a donation to the Coosa Valley Lodge 14 Fraternal Order Of Police or participating in the Sept. 27 Charity Golf Tournament. If you feel so inclined you could collect money at your work or church or plan your own fundraiser for the FOP. You’d be helping them help your community.

Severo Avila is features editor for the Rome News-Tribune