JPD Game Dinner steps up to the plate

Johnston Sun Rise ·

Perhaps never before has the Johnston Police IBPO Local 307 gone above and beyond the call of duty like it did Sunday in Cranston.

For starters, Local 307’s first-ever Game Dinner was a complete sellout and overwhelming success.

Every seat inside the famed Santa Maria DiPrata Society that’s located at 29 Walnut Grove in Cranston was filled, as Local 307 was joined by fellow officers from all over Rhode Island and enjoyed the multi-course dinner which was prepared and served by the expert staff of Ralph’s Catering.

Moreover, it seemed as though Local 307 had been at this Game Dinner stuff for years, given the number of donated raffle items from what organizers called “generous local business” and ranged from wide screen televisions to different themed gift baskets and even several unique firearms.

“This was no first-time event,” several men from a law enforcement agency said while preparing to purchase tickets for a 50/50 raffle that featured a cash prize. “There are plenty of raffle items and the tri-chairmen should be proud of what’s going on here today.”

Johnston Police Sgt. Joseph Scichilone, Patrolman Mario Mennella and Det. Brian Loffredi chaired Sunday’s highly-successful affair and were elated with the support they received from other Locals throughout the state for a event that was held for two important beneficiaries.

“Partial proceeds from today’s dinner will benefit youth sports in the Town of Johnston as well as C.O.P.S.,” Scichilone explained. “Our Local has always donated to the town’s many great youth sports programs and needs and today we’re adding another important non-profit.”

Scichilone suddenly turned toward a huge mock-check that was for $500 and made out to C.O.P.S. the JPD sergeant said stands for Concerns of Police Survivors and given Sunday in the honor and memory of the late Stephen Michael Shaw who, a Providence Police sergeant who was killed in the line of duty back on Feb. 23, 1994.

Sunday, each and everyone inside the famed Italian-American organization building who was in some way connected with law enforcement inside was thrilled to support C.O.P.S. and help continue the work the late Shaw’s parents, Bobby and Maria, in their son’s memory.

For the record, C.O.P.S.’ mission, Maria Shaw wanted it known, “is rebuilding shattered lives of survivors and co-workers affected by line of duty deaths, through partnerships with law enforcement and the community.”

“We remember their sacrifices,” she said of the work C.O.P.S. has been doing on the national, regional and state levels. “It’s all about honoring their surviving families.”

Bobby Shaw, his voice cracking with emotion, addressed the sold out gather that totaled 200 people, said: “We can’t thank you enough for this tremendous donation; it will help everyone connected with C.O.P.S. continue their great works for families of fallen officers.”

Maria Shaw later explained that the non-profit does everything from offer counseling programs to college scholarships for children of fallen officers to peer support.

“We have [C.O.P.S.] chapters in every New England state,” Maria Shaw explained. “We try to do a lot for kids of fallen officers. We’ve even taken kids to the zoo. In some cases, we’ve had cases that officers were never able to see their children because they were killed in the line of duty when their wives were pregnant.”

The Shaws, who have pledged to keep working and working for C.O.P.S. that was founded back in 1984, issued thanks to many people who attended Sunday’s dinner and urged members of Local IBPO (International Brotherhood of Police Officers) 307 to continue the great tradition they started Sunday.

“We always tell people our son was born on the hottest day of the year,” Maria Shaw told several JPD officers during a photo session, “And Stephen Michael (Shaw) died on the coldest day back in Feb., 1994.”