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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Greenwich Family Enjoys Surprise Gift from Cops

It was a special Christmas for Landa Brooks after the Greenwich Police Department and Greenwich Social Services provided her and her two sons with household necessities at their new Byram apartment.

"I am very grateful to them," said Brooks, the primary caregiver for her son Dalahn, 17, who has Angelman syndrome, a neurogenetic disorder. "Two weeks ago, I didn't have the money to buy a mop. Now I have my mop, and I thank them."

Landa arrived at the police station Wednesday morning before her son Chris, a fourth-grader, had to hurry off to school at Julian Curtiss. She was met by Officers Darrell "Dee" Fludd and Vincent O'Banner, as well as Sgts. Mark Zuccharella and Jim Bonney of the Silver Shield Association, who provided her with the gifts and some extra support in her new home.

The gift has its roots in a Greenwich police tradition for Thanksgiving. For the past five years, a few officers have purchased and delivered Thanksgiving meals to families in need. But after delivering 85 meals in 2010, there was a surplus of money. (The funds had been raised by the Greenwich Flag Football League and donated by the Silver Shield Association.) The officers turned to Cynthia Bowser and Alison Brush of Greenwich Social Services, who chose Landa and her family from the department's annual Christmas Wish List program.

"These are basic necessities, not extras" said Bowser. "With a security deposit, a car note, car insurance, groceries, rent, at the end of the month, you don't have money for things like a mop and bucket. It's really hard to address your basic needs."

Fludd, who founded the Greenwich Flag Football League with O'Banner, learned that one of his players, Chris, would be the recipient. That made Fludd even happier to help.

"Chris is a very, very good kid. And it reinforces that we're there for him, and he needs that," said Fludd, a former social worker in the south Bronx, N.Y. Chris said he was looking forward to the new flag football season in March.

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