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Safety measures: Events set to raise funds for NCSO

COVINGTON - The campaign to buy Level III bullet proof vests for all Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies is getting ever closer to its goal as the community joins together to contribute to the fund by use of special fundraisers.

According to InVEST fund organizer Dawn Atha, the fund now stands at approximately $28,000. The goal is $113,000. News was recently received that the NCSO qualified for a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bullet-Proof Vest Partnership totaling $57,541. Half of that amount, or $28,770.50, must be matching funds and will come from the NCSO's general budget, according to Sheriff Ezell Brown. Once received, the grant will bring the fund to approximately $85,500.

But organizers aren't resting on their laurels and have several events planned during October to allow the community to participate in the vest effort.

Atha said local quilter Ardis Young has donated an oversized Queen quilt to be raffled off to earn funds for the project. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5.

"And the Lion's Club has donated a booth for us to use to sell tickets and accept donations at their barbecue," Atha said, referring to the Fourth Annual Fall Festival and BBQ Cook-Off to be held Friday and Saturday at American Legion Field. A winning ticket will be drawn at the end of the festival.

At 6 p.m. Oct. 14, the Covington Elks Club is hosting a spaghetti supper with proceeds going to the vest fund. The club is located at 135 Crowell Road. For more information on this event, call Butch Woodruff at 770-262-1820.

And, coming up on Oct. 17, a joint fundraiser for the InVEST project and Woodlee's Christian Academy will be sponsored by two of Newton County's favorite eateries - Burnie's BBQ and Cosmo Joe's. The two restaurants will host an event from 3 to 6 p.m. at Cosmo Joe's, located at 10055 Bypass Road, Suite D. Participants can choose between a BBQ sandwich, chips and a drink or a Chicago Dog, chips and a drink. Tickets are $5 in advance or $7 the day of the event. Live entertainment will also be provided. For more information, call Bo at Cosmo Joe's at 770-385-7414.

Tax-exempt donations to the vest fund can be made any time by check payable to the Newton County Sheriff's Office and earmarked for Safety Vests & Equipment. Donations can be mailed to the NCSO in care of Apryle Jones, 15151 Alcovy Road, Covington, GA 30014.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com

SideBar: At A Glance

InVEST Fund contributors donating $1,000 or more to date are:

· Ginn Chevrolet

· Ginn Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge

· Newton Federal

· Marshall and Dawn Atha

· The Arnold Fund

· Eastside High School

· Anonymous

· John and Diane Bowers