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Young boy excited to 'shop with a cop,' meet Santa

Young boy excited to 'shop with a cop,' meet Santa

BRECKNOCK TWP., Pa. - It's not everyday that you can win a shopping spree for the holidays, but one little boy who has endured some tough times is getting just that.

Ian Hess was invited to participate in Crime Alert Berks County's "Shop with a Cop" program at the Boscov's North store in Muhlenberg Township.

Ian, a 9-year-old student at Brecknock Elementary School, said he was so excited to shop with a cop Thursday evening.

His teachers told 69 News it wasn't a hard choice to pick him after his mom died two years ago.

"I get to shop with a cop for $100 and I get to go meet Santa Claus," Ian said.

"He is so excited about this. He's been telling everybody," said Maryellen Kueny, principal, Brecknock Elementary.

Ian is a 4th grader at Brecknock Elementary, but he's only been in the school district for about three months. He came to Brecknock after his 29-year old mother died of cystic fibrosis.

Ian's aunt said he was his mom's little helper, always by her side when she was sick. After his mom passed, Ian lived with his dad for awhile before moving in with his aunt and switching school districts.

"He is always very concerned about doing the right thing. He is a bit of a quiet child but has really been blossoming and coming out of his shell," said Kueny.

Despite being in the district for only three months, Ian's teachers unanimously nominated him for the annual Shop with a Cop program.

"Every single 4th grade teacher voted for me," Ian said.

"He's a very gracious child, and I think the word endearing I used earlier pretty much sums up his personality," Kueny said.

Ian is one of 20 children from throughout Berks County who were chosen to participate in the Shop with a Cop program.

He was given a $100 gift card to buy anything he wants. He said he was just excited to buy gifts for all of his family members before even thinking of buying something for himself.

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