Schenectady

Schenectady police, aided by mysterious benefactor, spread holiday cheer

Schenectady police Assistant Chief Michael Seber takes a photo of Mont Pleasant Middle School teacher Linda Fragale and Sgt. Jeffrey McCutcheon after presenting this youngster on Bridge Street with a bag of Christmas gifts in Schenectady Wednesday.
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Schenectady police Assistant Chief Michael Seber takes a photo of Mont Pleasant Middle School teacher Linda Fragale and Sgt. Jeffrey McCutcheon after presenting this youngster on Bridge Street with a bag of Christmas gifts in Schenectady Wednesday.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — City police handed out hundreds of dollars worth of toys this week.

But the kids who experienced an unexpected early Christmas haul this week have an anonymous benefactor to thank.

A man walked into the city police station on Liberty Street this spring and handed over a pair of Target gift cards.

The instructions were simple:

Do something good.

“And that was it,” said Lt. Ryan Macherone. “He turned around and walked away.”

Macherone estimated each card contained $350 or $400.

Assistant Chief Michael Seber and Linda Fragale, a teacher at Mont Pleasant Middle School, used one of the cards along with a card donated by the Schenectady Police Benevolent Association to purchase gifts for students around the city.

And they played Santa alongside Sgt. Jeff McCutcheon, who helped deliver them on Wednesday.

Macherone said officers bounced ideas around all year for how to use the cards, but the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on traditional activities like barbecues and other community events.

“We just found ourselves not being able to do a lot this year,” Macherone said.

Macherone said he hoped word would trickle back to the mystery benefactor that city police ultimately honored his request.

“It was pretty cool in the end,” he said. “I hope the person that dropped them off knew we held onto them and made sure they went to a good thing.”

City police also donated $2,410 to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital earlier this week, funds collected during the department’s “No Shave November” campaign.

“The majority of our Patrol Division decided to participate, as well as some of our detectives and some of our admin staff,” McCutcheon said.

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