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Elizabeth Fetterhoff is hosting the inaugural Badge of Hope Gala Friday, Dec. 11, to raise money for Volusia County Sheriff’s Office youth programs.

Fetterhoff, recently re-elected to represent District 26 in the Florida House, said the idea came about when she heard that the Sheriff’s Office was short on funds for programs like Shop With a Cop and 100 Deputies/100 Kids. These programs raise money and ensure area youth have the opportunity to enjoy the holidays.

“We had seen a tweet from Sheriff Chitwood talking about how they only had about $400 in their bank account for events for youth in the community,” Fetterhoff said. “Four hundred dollars isn’t going too far this season, so we got with Sheriff Chitwood and decided to put together an event — COVID-19 safe and socially distanced — celebrating this season and getting some much-needed funds into the foundation.”

COPS, KIDS AND CHRISTMAS — A Volusia County sheriff’s deputy helps young school children decorate the Sheriff’s Office Christmas tree in 2016. This year, state Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff is organizing an event Dec. 11 to raise money for Sheriff’s Office youth holiday programs, after learning that the fund for the programs is short on cash.

The Badge of Hope Gala will be 6-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at Venue 142, 142 N. Woodland Blvd. in Downtown DeLand.

TIckets cost $50 per person, and are available online here. For more information, visit the event Facebook page here.

The gala will include a silent auction for various prizes, including lunch with Sheriff Chitwood, as well as a ride-along experience, a SWAT-team experience, and a marine experience, all in the company of members of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served, and a DJ will play music.

All proceeds will go to the Sheriff’s Office Foundation, the Sheriff’s Office Youth Foundation, and the various youth programs.

The dress code is business casual, but Fetterhoff encouraged guests to have fun and not worry too much about their apparel.

“Dress as swanky as you want. We want people to have fun. So many things have been canceled this season, so we want people to have fun,” she said. “If you don’t have a mask, we will provide one at the door, and we will ensure everything is sanitized.”

Fetterhoff said she hopes the gala will become an annual fundraiser, so she has high hopes for the first event.

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