Diners had no cause for alarm November 12 when Santa Clara Assistant Chief of Police Chief Dan Winter strode into the Fish Market Restaurant, 3775 El Camino Real, Santa Clara. It was not a crime scene. Rather it was the scene at lunch and dinner of the annual fall Tip-A-Cop fundraiser benefitting local Special Olympics athletes.
Winter, State Director of the Northern California Law Enforcement Torch Run, joined other volunteers to assist the Fish Market’s regular servers by giving extra attention to the diners. The volunteers told diners about Special Olympics, which has served Northern California athletes with intellectual disabilities since 1995 (www.sonc.org).
Above and beyond their normal tips to servers, diners tipped the cops generously, donating $4,027 to help provide athletes with free, year-round sports training and Olympic competition opportunities in 11 different sports.
Volunteers included SCPD officers, Special Olympics athletes themselves, PAL volunteer youth Explorers, and Community Service Officer Stacy Gross.
“Helping with the Special Olympics and being with the athletes brings me a lot of joy,” says Gross. “Their unconditional love and appreciation is overwhelming.”
“This has been great. People are getting more aware of what’s going on for Special Olympics,” says Fish Market manager Loretta Nelson. “The customers love it, and we get new customers, more of a variety of people than usual.”