Charity event raises money for new Norwood police dog

Published 3:40 pm Monday, November 15, 2021

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A nonprofit organization based in Norwood recently shifted its focus to local matters with a fundraiser for the Norwood Police Department which helped the police department add a new K-9 officer.

Mark Hawkins of Cross Ties Ministries hosted a dinner which, along with a silent auction, raised $20,401 for the police department for the Cause for Paws project.

Named Rocco, the new dog will work with Norwood Officer Martin Long.

Cross Ties Ministries had been helping students in Nicaragua for approximately 10 years, including the construction of several churches and an emergency department for a hospital.

Growing up, Hawkins’s best friend’s brother was the Robbins police chief. He said he grew up befriending the members of the department.

“They were just people and that’s how they treated me,” Hawkins said.

His support of law enforcement, he said, comes from his nearly 20 years spent working in the field. Hawkins was the youngest police officer in the state while going to school at Central Piedmont Community College. He later worked for the State Bureau of Investigation.

Hawkins also credited his father, a longtime Methodist minister, and his mother as having helped him to start Cross Ties after he left law enforcement and started his own polymer business making plastic parts.

When Nicaragua was taken over by a dictatorship, he said, Cross Ties could not continue to bring in supplies. With funds still in the 501 (c)(3) organization, Hawkins said the question was asked what the group could do right in its backyard of Norwood.

Raising money for a new Norwood police dog was the answer, he said.

“These men and women need to be shown that they are appreciated,” Hawkins said. “We thank them for their service and that we know they are going above and beyond.”

Norwood Police Chief James Wilson said he was “extremely grateful for Mark and Kay Hawkins for organizing this event. It is very humbling to see our community members come together to support their Police Department. I was shocked that such a large amount was raised in a single evening to fund a new K9 for the Town of Norwood. It is always exciting to have such positive partnerships between a community and its Police Department.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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