Cadets Spread Christmas Spirit

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 12:21 p.m. December 23, 2015

Toronto Police cadets in training are already making their mark on the city.

A group of men and women in TPS uniform on bleachers holding toys and an oversized cheque
Cadets In Training show off their toy and cash donation to the CTV Toy Mountain

The recruits, who graduate next February, collected $1,320 that was split between CTV’s Toy Mountain campaign and a little boy who is seeking to ensure that parents can be comfortable for lengthy periods while visiting their children at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids).

“As a class, we wanted to do something for the community and give back,” said William Mitchell, who added that his desire to help people was his main reason for choosing policing as a career. “We decided that each of the 44 members in our class would give $30.”

Connor Vaivods said the he and the rest of the recruits readily supported the idea.

“We are here to represent Toronto and we want to do the best that we can,” he said. “It’s an honour for us to be able to give something back to those who are not as privileged as others.”

On behalf of their class, Mitchell and Vaivods presented $660 to eight-year-old Zack Lew.

Three years ago, the Grade Three student started making donations to the Sick Kids to purchase rocking chairs.

“He had a friend who was at the hospital and, while talking to his mother, Zack learned that she couldn’t stay over at nights with her son because his room didn't have a rocking chair,” said Lew’s mother, Tara. “It was close to his birthday and Zack told his friends to give him money instead of gifts so he could provide rocking chairs for the hospital.”

Two men in TPS uniform with a woman and a boy holding cash
Cadets-In-Training William Mitchell and Connor Vaivods made the donation to Tara and Zack Lew on behalf of their class

A Humber College lecturer, Lew administers a training program to Toronto Police instructors.

“Last September, I shared Zack’s story with the class at the police college and, the next day, they brought in an enormous mason jar and promised they would fill it for Zack,” added Lew.

Staff Sergeant Steve Pattison, head of the recruit training section at the college, said he was extremely proud of the cadets.

“We talk about community engagement, we talk about charitable donations, we talk about volunteerism and they took it upon themselves to actually collect money and buy toys and make a donation to Zack for a worthy cause,” he said.

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