Fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network shut down by police for second year in a row

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Every year, a local church group holds an annual fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network program. The fundraiser usually has many families turn out ar looking to support the program. However, this past week at their most recent fundraiser, Beckley Police shut them down.

For 13 years, Craig Dorsey, the chief chaplain of the Raleigh County Crisis Team, has been conducting an annual fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, a national organization that helps support sick children.

The crisis team’s fundraiser is held in the parking lot of the local IHOP, where fire trucks, ambulances and even helicopters show up to entertain children. This year though, the fundraiser was shut down by the local police within an hour of starting.

“We had a helicopter, we have fire trucks, the kids were having a good time. Everybody’s having a good time. Traffic wasn’t stopped. And now all of a sudden we have the police chief show up,” Dorsey said.

And after more than a decade of fundraisers, Dorsey says he’s confused why the police are shutting them down now.

“Why is the city attorney sending the police up here to shut fire departments down who are trying to collect money? And all money goes to the network for sick children.”

This is the second year in a row police have shut the fundraiser down. They claim the firetrucks in the road are blocking the flow of traffic. Dorsey disagrees. He claims that volunteers at the fire department help direct traffic around the trucks. Dorsey also claims the trucks are a staple of the fundraiser and says the trucks are for safety.

“We’re a fire department so we got to have a couple fire trucks. We do that for safety because people rubberneck; it’s kinda hard to go through a firetruck to hit you.”

Dorsey also wonders why for the past 13 years, the fundraiser has only been shut down for the past two. He is concerned that they are being singled out, claiming that other organizations can use the roads for their own events, but they cannot.

“It’s anybody that’s on the city street is what was said. So does that mean that Chilly Night, YMCA Run and all that that’s on the city has to be stopped also?”

To help solve the issue, Dorsey is going to the Beckley City Council Meeting this Tuesday, where he hopes to get some straight answers.

“We’re gonna have to get some guidelines on what we can and can’t do.”

After attending the city council meeting and getting answers, Dorsey hopes to redo the fundraiser later this year.

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