Donations wanted for Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 08:57 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County school resource officers are collecting donations for "Cram the Canoe," a Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch fundraiser.

 The OCSO needs athletic shoes for boys and girls ages 10-15, according to a news release. Resource officers also need new outdoor equipment including sports balls, canoes, paddles and lifejackets.

Several SROs annually volunteer time in the summer at Caruth Camp in Inglis, Fla. Weeklong activities include canoeing, swimming, bicycling and archery.

The program provides summer camp for children who otherwise couldn't attend such an activity, organizers said.

In addition, "(the ranch) breaks down the barriers between law enforcement and kids," Sgt. Gary Venuti, head of the local SRO program, said.

This year's camp takes place July 20-25.

Last year, OCSO provided 100 new sets of bed sheets and 26 new bicycles with local organizations' help, event organizers said.   

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