Eight-year-old gives birthday presents to slain deputy

Filed under: Tweens, Teens, Just For Dads, Holidays, In The News

Sgt. Chris Reyka, an 18-year veteran of the Broward sheriff's department in Florida and father of four, was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious vehicle last August. His killers are still at large. His family, meanwhile, are without their father. Eight-year-old Arden Capizola knew she could never replace the slain dad, but she could help the family in other ways.

For her birthday, she asked her friends and family for money -- in the form of donations for the Sgt. Chris Reyka Memorial Fund. All in all, her gifts totaled $1100, a significant sum in anyone's book, but especially so for a wee girl like Arden. "It's a pretty amazing thing you did," Sheriff Al Lamberti told Arden. "Any time we lose a deputy, it's like losing a member of your family. Our badge is a star, and that's what you are."

Arden had a bowling party and invited about 25 classmates. She asked them to make a donation to the fund instead of buying a present. "This was the best birthday party I've ever had," she said. "I know I did something good for them." $1100 would buy an awful lot of whatever eight-year-olds are into these days; that's a serious sacrifice for a very good cause. Arden Capizola is definitely a hero.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.