DIXON – Madisyn Halfacre's favorite color is pink. Like, duh.
The bubbly 7-year-old was one of 20 children invited to participate in Tuesday evening's Clothes for Kids event. Put on every year since 2005, it's one of the ways Dixon Police Department gives back to the community.
Madisyn came dressed to impress, wearing her Easter best — literally.
"It's my Easter dress!" she said.
Madisyn gave the almost-floor-length, electric-striped number a twirl to show it off before joining her mother a few paces ahead. They were on the hunt for school supplies and clothes. Pink clothes. And Madisyn, about to be a Lincoln Elementary second-grader, was very excited about it.
The Dixon Police Charitable Association, a nonprofit organization funded by the community, sponsors Clothes for Kids. This year, each of the 20 kids was given $100 to spend as they pleased on back-to-school items.
The evening started out at the Police Department with pizza, soda and Spongebob Squarepants.
For 4-year-old preschooler David Kellogg, the night's to-do list included finding the perfect Mario hat, Mario shirt and Mario backpack.
"I like Luigi, too," he said.
David's brother, Devin Carlson came along, too. He's 12 and going into the seventh grade at Reagan Middle School, but his excitement didn't even come close to David's.
"You don't like shopping?"
"I'm not a girl!" Devin said shyly. He was on the lookout for pants and shirts.
The police department compiles a list of people who might be interested in participating by talking with local schools and other agencies, and then invites them. When the families show up to the police station, they're assigned one of the officers who volunteered to help out.
Madisyn's family got Officer Anthony Quadraro, the program's coordinator.
It's a bit of an adventure for him, too. "Colored pencils cost six bucks?" he said while perusing the aisles with Madisyn and her mom for the perfect pair of scissors.
"I found pink ones!" she squealed from the other end of the aisle, clicking her pink ballet slippers excitedly.
With school supplies done, and the perfect pink (obviously) backpack picked out, it was on to clothes — the part Madisyn's was most looking forward to all night.
First things first: a pink and black leopard-print skirt, then a shirt to match, then a pair of leggings, then another shirt, then another skirt.
"It's the children like that who come excited and dressed up, ..." Quadraro said. "They're worth their weight in gold."
Donations may be made to the Dixon Police Charitable Association, 220 S. Hennepin Ave, Dixon, IL 61021-3042.