A sweet success

MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO

About 70 volunteers baked and packaged more than 7,000 cookies last weekend in a show of gratitude for the work that Philadelphia’s police officers do every day.

Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 Auxiliary conducted their sixth annual Cookies for Cops program as a tribute to a police radio dispatcher and auxiliary co-founder, Marcella Hodgson, who passed away on Jan. 10 at age 36.

Hodgson, a Holmesburg resident, helped form the auxiliary in January 2009 after the line-of duty-deaths of six Philadelphia police officers during a 15-month span. The creators viewed it as a way for families and friends of police to network and support the officers.

“That’s how the auxiliary got started, so we could talk to each other. And Marcy was one of the original members,” said Bernadette Carter, an auxiliary vice president and Hodgson’s aunt.

The Cookies for Cops program was one of Hodgson’s ideas.

“They wanted to do something to support the officers for the work they do,” Carter said. “Every police officer, every district and every unit — the marine unit, the highway unit, mounted police, K9 — everybody gets cookies. We actually buy dog biscuits for the K9 unit and carrots for the mounted unit horses. It’s really become a big thing and it’s very close to everyone’s heart. It was especially close to Marcy’s.”

Last Saturday morning, volunteers brought their cookies to the FOP union hall and assembled 360 trays with Hodgson’s photo on the custom label. Then they delivered trays to the 16th and 22nd police districts. Throughout this week, they will deliver trays to every other district and unit in the city.

“The cops really appreciate it because they usually get a bad rap,” Carter said.

Throughout the year, the auxiliary holds fundraisers such as a designer bag bingo event. In the summer, it hosts a picnic for families and friends of police officers at Neshaminy State Park. The picnic is open to the public.

For information about the auxiliary, visit fop5auxiliary.org or contact Carter at 215–815–4745 or Donna Giulian at 215–820–0865. ••

MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO

Cookie time: Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 Auxiliary held their annual Cookies for Cops program. About 70 volunteers baked and packaged more than 7,000 cookies to show gratitude for Philadelphia police officers. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO