Thousands of dollars in prizes and gift cards were handed out to members of the Cartersville Police Department at an event held outside the Cartersville Public Safety Headquarters Friday afternoon.
“We all know what’s going on in the news today,” said event organizer David Munisteri. “Everybody uses this internet as a bad thing, why can’t I use it for something good?”
Munisteri recounted how he recently made a social media post, asking local businesses and residents if they’d like to make donations for a local law enforcement appreciation giveaway.
The message went out around 5 a.m. By noon, he said he had at least 25 contacts on Instagram and Facebook — “and another 25 phone calls and text messages from people here in the community” who wanted to show their support for local law enforcement officials.
“One of the first books you get when you’re a kid is a picture book, and one of those pictures is a police officer, generally helping a small child,” Munisteri said. “And with all the things in the news right now, that’s not what we see and hear … let’s go back to where the police officer was thought of as a positive member of the community, as a helpful member of the community.”
About 50 gifts were handed out at Friday’s event. Among the many businesses contributing to the Cartersville Police Department prize pool were 84 Lumber, AutoZone, the Cartersville Country Club, Chick-fil-A, Georgia Bone and Joint Surgeons, Image Screen Printing, LakePoint Realty Group, Peachtree Planning Corp. and Steak ’n Shake.
Each CPD personnel who participated in the raffle was guaranteed at least $100-$150 in gift cards. Some of the grand prizes at stake included a new vanity countertop, a massive 65-inch flatscreen television and — the top-tier item — a week’s vacation in Panama City Beach, Florida, complete with a complimentary condo stay.
Other prizes included free rounds of golf, a tool set and gratis CrossFit classes.
“I want you to realize, this is not me, this is our community,” Munisteri said. “All I did was reach out over the last two and a half weeks to people I do business with … the support was overwhelming.”