Plaque program to benefit Shop with a Cop

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Dennis Litwiler (left) purchased a memorial plaque for his father, CPL Rex L. Litwiler, from the Shop with a Cop program, organized by Sgt. Nick Seefeld. The three other plaques represent three of his uncles, which were purchased by his cousin.

The city of Aledo has purchased 46 new American Flags to honor Mercer County Veterans and the Aledo Police Department is looking to add special recognition to the flag purchases by placing honorary plaques on the flagpoles. "This is a special addition to the Shop with a Cop Program this year," said Aledo Police Sergeant Nick Seefeld, organizer. "We are honoring veterans and service men and women of Mercer County."

The 5 x 8-inch plaques are selling for $150 apiece and going on a first come, first served basis. "It started out as one plaque for one person," said Aledo Police Sergeant Nick Seefeld, organizer.

The proceeds from the plaque sale are going to the fifth annual Shop with a Cop program.

The plaques are being attached to concrete light poles along College Avenue and Main Street in Aledo. The new flags were purchased this year and are displayed on 10 different holidays throughout the year. "Up to five plaques can be placed on one pole," said Seefeld. "Only one family will be honored per pole, however."

Seefeld said that 37 plaques have already been sold. "We have 21 poles left to sell," he said. "I have one (pole) that has four names on it."

To place an order, call the Aledo Police Department Monday through Friday during office hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at (309) 582-2330 or mail the check to Aledo Police Department, c/o Shop with a Cop, 120 N. College Ave. Aledo IL 61231. Be sure to include whether it is "In memory" or "In honor," the service person's rank and name, branch of service, war or conflict, and a phone number. The submitter's name will not be included on the plaque.

Due to cold weather approaching, all plaques purchased in the fall and winter will be attached to the poles when weather permits. "It has to be warm to install the plaques," said Seefeld.

Seefeld said that this year's Shop with a Cop will take place on Saturday, Dec. 12, when area law enforcement, fire and ambulance personnel will take Mercer County's needy children shopping for Christmas presents.