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Santa arrives in style at FOP party
Santa Claus arrived on a police car at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5-30’s annual Christmas party for special needs children.
Duval County School Board member Martha Barrett and Nelson Cuba, FOP president.
Mrs. Claus greeted the children.
Retired JSO Chief David Stevens was the master of ceremonies at the party. He’s also the immediate past president of FOP Lodge 5-30.
More than 150 gifts were presented to the guests.
The exhibit hall at the Fairgrounds & Expo Center was full of children who had lunch served by uniformed police officers before Santa arrived.
Members of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5-30 made the holidays more special Wednesday when they hosted the 63rd annual Christmas party for 165 Duval County Public Schools students with special needs.

The children arrived at the Fairgrounds & Expo Center in school buses with a police motorcycle escort, then sat down for turkey, stuffing and green beans served by FOP members.

After the tables were cleared, Santa Claus arrived and entered the room sitting on the hood of a police car. Then he and Mrs. Claus met and presented each child with a gift.

FOP President Nelson Cuba said the party is a way to do something for the children and an opportunity for retired officers to see old friends and colleagues.

“It’s a great time. There are officers who come back every year. Once you help out with this party, you don’t want to stop,” said Cuba.

FOP Lodge 5-30 represents almost 3,000 active and retired police officers, correctional officers and sworn bailiffs. It has more members than any other law enforcement organization in Florida and is the seventh largest FOP lodge in the United States.

mmarbut@baileypub.com

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Thursday, Dec. 15
Lee High School Chorus and Guitar Ensemble
11 a.m.
The Landing
Info: 353-1188

Women’s Basketball: Jacksonville University vs. Jacksonville State University
5 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Arena
Info: 630-3900

Shopping at MOCA: For Women Only
5-8 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Info: www.mocajacksonville.org

MOSH After Dark: “Holiday Music Under the Stars”
6-9 p.m.
Museum of Science & History
Info: www.themosh.org

Men’s Basketball: Jacksonville University vs. Winthrop University
7:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Arena
Info: 630-3900

Friday, Dec. 16
Farmers & Arts Market
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Landing
Info: 353-1188

Martin Luther King Jr. Band & Dancers
11 a.m.
The Landing
Info: www.jacksonvillelanding.com

Holiday Open House
3-7 p.m.
City Hall
Info: www.makeascenedowntown.com

LoCash Cowboys in Concert
6 p.m.
Mavericks Rock ‘N’ Honky Tonk
Info: www.maversicksatthelanding.com

Jacksonville Starz
6:15 p.m.
The Landing
Info: www.jacksonvillelanding.com

Florida Ballet Nutcracker
7:30 p.m.
The Florida Theatre
Info: 355-2787

First Coast Nutcracker
6 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: 633-6110

Hipp Street Band
9 p.m.-1 a.m.
The Landing
Info: 353-1188

Saturday, Dec. 17
Southern Classic Gun & Knife Show
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Fairgrounds & Expo Center
Info: 353-0535
First Coast Nutcracker
2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: www.jaxsymphony.org
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