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Deputies' help building OAYA float appreciated



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December 16, 2009 - Hank Szlenkier is extremely grateful to the Oakland County Sheriff's staff who volunteered their time and talents to help build Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance's Cinderella-themed float for the Christmas parade Dec. 5.

"I think it's extraordinary that they used vacation time and even took money out their own pocket to do this," said Szlenkier, who works as the caseworker for OAYA.

Szlenkier wished to acknowledge the hard work and special contributions of OSCD Sgt. Randy Praski, deputies Jim and Georgia Willyard and Lori Collier, who works as the administrative assistant at the Oxford substation.

Having these volunteers there, working side-by-side with the kids, "provided some positive adult role models" for the youngsters.

"The kids could see that the police aren't your enemy, they're good people. They took the kids out, one of the nights, to Casa Real and paid for dinner. To me, that's incredible they'd go that extra mile," said Szlenkier, noting that both Collier and Praski serve on the OAYA Board of Directors.

In the end, it all came together and OAYA ended up with " a pretty nice float."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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