Diners for lunch and dinner at Chili’s Grill & Bar in Santa Clara, got the VIP treatment May 12. Uniformed officers from the Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) teamed with Special Olympics athletes to serve drinks and share information about Special Olympics of Northern California.
“This is an awesome event today.” says Community Service Officer Deanna Black, volunteering at Chili’s for the lunch shift.
As a thank you for the special attention they received, diners tipped the cops and athletes $3,020 to help provide 19,940 northern California athletes–both children and adults–with free, year-round sports training and Olympic competition opportunities in 12 sports. Just $250 is enough to allow one athlete to participate all year.
“Working with law enforcement to help Special Olympics to connect with the community is a way for us to give back to the community,” says Chili’s General Manager Patrick Kehoe.
Special Olympics Torch Run Director Katie Ostrom said that 24 locations in northern California participate in Tip-A-Cop day and raised $50,000 in one day in 2015.
“It makes me feel good to spend time volunteering for such a worthy organization,” says Officer Scott Wilson, one of the motorcycle escorts for the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run to fund and raise awareness of Special Olympics.
Northern California law enforcement runners relay the Flame of Hope from city to city, finishing at the opening ceremonies of the summer Special Olympics Games at the University of California, Davis, this year on June 24 – 26. The torch will be carried through Santa Clara along El Camino Real on June 16.
Assistant Chief of Police Dan Winter is the state director of the Northern California Law Enforcement Torch Run. For information and to support or participate in the Santa Clara segment of the Torch Run, visit www.sonc.org or www.santaclaraca.gov.
Special Olympics, which began in Chicago in 1968, has served northern California athletes with intellectual disabilities since 1995.