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DOT stuff the cruiser

Beatrice Police Officer Kris Gill poses for a photo with 11 employees from the Beatrice branch of the Nebraska Department of Transportation Friday morning. The DOT employees donated several toys and cash to the police department's annual "Stuff the Cruiser" campaign to provide toys for area children. 

Highway maintenance employees at the Beatrice branch of the Nebraska Department of Transportation are doing their part to spread holiday cheer as the Christmas holiday nears. 

On Friday a group of 11 DOT workers met with Beatrice Police Officer Kris Gill to give numerous toys and a cash donation of $100 to help purchase more toys for the annual event. 

DOT supervisor James Lannigan said employees wanted to do their part to make sure area children had a merry Christmas. 

"Last year we set money aside for a Christmas party but the weather didn't allow for us to have it because a lot of times we're working around Christmas," Lannigan said. "We thought this was something nice we could do." 

In addition to Lannigan, other employees donating were Lewis Carr, Dave Olsan, Lawrence Haake, Travis Hespen, Ron Spilker, Steve Matthews, Colt Johnson, Mike McPherrin, Damian Samuelson and Kevin Haecker. 

Stuff the Cruiser began three years ago thanks to members of the Beatrice Police Department and continues to grow. 

In addition to new toys, monetary donations are accepted and used to purchase batteries and other accessories for toys, as well as gifts for teenagers that are less frequently donated.

Stuff the Cruiser has become an annual tradition that the department takes pride in. 

Beatrice police will deliver the toys to the YMCA  on Dec. 12 at 10 a.m., when a line of police cars full of toys roll up to the YMCA.

No child is turned away when toys are distributed and in the past there have been more than enough toy donations to go around. Toys will be distributed at a later date during a family fun night at the YMCA.

Gill thanked each of the employees for their donations and noted that additional donations are being accepted through Dec. 12 by contacting the Beatrice Police Department. 

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