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Newport Beach senior, former police officers volunteering before the long July 4th vacation

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Newport Beach resident Dotty McDonald is a wanted woman – meaning there isn’t a police officer within a 100 mile radius who wouldn’t want her living in the immediate vicinity.

Volunteering with the Newport Beach Police Department from 2015 to 2019, McDonald’s officially logged over 2,000 hours of service, performing home security checks for vacationing residents, filing files or scanning inventory lists from pawn shops looking for items that may be related to a local burglary. .

“It was so exciting,” she recalls of her service. “I loved it, and I loved them. They are great.”

McDonald was always up for an evening stroll, getting to know the attendants on duty and doing all she could to support the local men and women in blue. But a recent back surgery forced the 91-year-old to give up her volunteer position.

Dotty McDonald, a longtime volunteer with the Newport Beach Police Department, presents Chief Jon Lewis with $ 6,000 in gift cards Monday for use by employees over the July 4th long weekend.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Now she uses the July 4 weekend – a time when police departments traditionally increase staff and law enforcement to respond to increased activity – to show members of the Newport Beach Police Department when point they are appreciated in the community.

“My pleasure now is to collect money so that I can feed our cops,” she said. “I just want to do something for them, and there are so many people in this town who support our police.”

On Monday, McDonald’s handed generous portions of gratitude directly to Chef Jon Lewis, in the form of $ 25 gift cards that employees can use at local businesses to get a meal or a cup of coffee.

The gesture may be modest, but the full funds raised by the Newport Beach senior are not to be sneezed at. This year’s collector’s plate raised nearly $ 11,000, enough to provide 240 gift cards to local restaurant Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store and 150 cards for Coffee Nature.

“You can’t go wrong with the pizza,” McDonald assumed.

Besides the police station, the 90-year-old is also known at the Newport Beach Yacht Club, of which she is a member. This is where local residents Andrew and Karen Littlefair heard about their annual fundraising effort and decided to put some wind in the sails on July 4th.

By giving him seed money in the form of a sponsorship, courtesy of the Clean Energy company of Newport Beach, where Andrew Littlefair is managing director, they circulated letters on their social network.

“We were impressed with what she was doing,” Karen Littlefair said on Monday. “We typed a letter she wrote and put a little envelope with a stamp on it and sure enough she raised $ 6,000.”

Newport Police Officer Sabrina Fabbri, president of the Newport Beach Police Assn., Said McDonald and his philanthropic efforts were well known throughout the department.

“She’s one of our greatest cheerleaders and a champion of our cause,” said Fabbri, who also mentored the senior during her volunteer tenure. “She has a long-standing connection with this department.”

The officer said Monday’s special delivery will go a long way as the July 4 holiday, and the additional enforcement it requires, spans multiple days.

“This year everyone has been locked up and everyone is ready to go out and celebrate,” Fabbri said. “We will certainly be tired by the end of the weekend. But I think these gift cards will be a good pick-me-up.

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