FORTVILLE — Kristin Farris said her son, Asher, 3, just loves police officers.
His frequent run-ins with the law often occur on the street in front of their Fortville home, where good-natured members of the local police department will pause to turn on their emergency lights and let the toddler check out the patrol vehicles.
On Friday morning, the family found a way to give back to their favorite men and women in uniform while visiting Garst Pharmacy, 325 S. Main St. in Fortville. As Asher talked to Fortville pharmacist Eric Garst — who let Asher type his name on the business computer for fun — his mom filled out a screening questionnaire for her flu shot, an effort that not only aims to keep her healthy but support the community where she lives.
Garst Pharmacy has turned the battle against flu season into a healthy community initiative with a charitable twist. For every person who comes into Garst Pharmacy for a flu shot, the business will donate $3 to the Fortville Police Department. The goal is to attract 334 people — for a total donation of $1,000 to the local department. And if more people come? The money will keep on going to its cause, Garst said.
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For Farris, the promise of that donation was enough to make an appointment.
“I was excited to come over because it was going to go toward the police department,” Kristen Farris said.
Garst said he and his wife, Amanda, along with the pharmacy staff decided a $3 donation per flu shot this flu season would be a good way to support the community.
“Police in general across the United States have gotten a bad rap lately. I think they’re all in need or our support,” Garst said.
Fortville Police Chief Bill Knauer said the department was honored to hear of a local business’ support.
“It means a lot to us that they think enough of our police department (to do that),” Knauer said. “We feel very blessed. I feel very blessed.”
Knauer said he hopes to put the money toward continuing education or additional equipment for the department.
Garst said the business will pay the $3 donation regardless of how the flu shot is paid for, via insurance, which usually covers the cost without co-pay, or the $25 fee for those who don’t use insurance.
Garst anticipates administering flu shots through the end of April.
To get a flu shot, people can just walk in anytime during business hours, Garst said. The pharmacy is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. They can also call ahead.
For more information, call Garst Pharmacy at 317-485-5555.
To get a flu shot at Garst Pharmacy, one must:
• Be 11 or older
• Fill out a screening questionnaire
• Have insurance or pay a $25 fee
• Stop by the office at 325 S. Main St., Fortville, during business hours, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays