John Moloney had already given tireless years as a Sergeant on the front line. Come 1995, he found a way to give even more.
Following a dedicated career as a cherished Ballarat police officer, John Moloney easily could have retired from a life of helping others. He just wasn’t quite done yet.
Cops ‘N’ Kids was founded in 1995 to support children affected by cancer — the objective simple — to provide kids with a fun camp experience in a friendly and safe environment while allowing the families of seriously ill children respite from everyday anxieties and caring responsibilities.
The camp has developed from one per year for 16 children to now providing two camps per year; one in November for over 60 children and another in February specifically for Ballarat and district families.
Over four days, John’s camps offer rides in police cars, helicopters, light airplanes, trucks, cars and motorbikes, as well as jumping castles, face painting, a mobile zoo, craft activities and music. Campers also enjoy a visit to the Sebastopol Fire Brigade, indoor playgrounds, gymnastics, movies, a visit to Sovereign Hill, the AURA sound and light show and a trip to Lake Wendouree.
“Whether it’s supplying accommodation, entertainment or food or by volunteering to assist over the 4 days, it all contributes to putting a smile on the face of sick children,” John said.
“After successfully running our first nine camps in Ballarat, we noticed an increasing number of children from the local community attending and an idea formed,” John said.
“What about a camp just for our local children affected by cancer and other life-threatening diseases and perhaps even those who had dealings with the police through tragic circumstances?”
John’s camps, though this year quashed by the COVID-19 pandemic, still remain a staple in the Ballarat community.
“[Cancelling the camps this year] certainly wasn’t a decision made lightly and was definitely a very painful one,” John said.
“We realise that our supporters have also been hit hard throughout this pandemic. This makes us appreciate the assistance we receive from organisations, businesses and communities more than ever.
We remain grateful for the ongoing and very generous support we receive.”
If you’re interested in the Cops N Kids program, or know someone who would benefit by attending a camp, you can contact John Moloney at “Cops’n’Kids’ Program Ballarat Police Station at 20 Dana Street Ballarat.