Suffolk police spread Christmas cheer with tree giveaway

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EAST PATCHOGUE -

Suffolk police were helping to spread a bit of holiday cheer on Saturday with an annual Christmas tree giveaway event.

The 5th Precinct held its third annual tree giveaway at Hall Enterprises. Families were able to pick out a tree, cut it down and even get decorations, too.

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Each year the event has grown to serve even more families in need. Participants told News 12 they are grateful.

"Now I just have to set it up and decorate it because they even gave me the decorations for the tree, and now we have money to buy gifts for the children," says Ida Lopez, of Patchogue.

Suffolk police say the idea came from local landscaper Charlie Hall.

"Charlie asked if I can get some families, he had a dream since he was a kid of cutting down his own Christmas tree and he wanted to give that experience to people who normally wouldn't be able to get that," explains Bill Silva, of the Suffolk County Police Department. "And I said, 'Sure, we can find 10 families.'"

Santa himself also made an appearance at the event.

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