(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Tables and booths filled up in Bandanas in St. Joseph, as law enforcement officers raised money for the Special Olympics.
The Tip-A-Cop event was put on by the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), groups of local law enforcement working to raise support and awareness of the Special Olympics.
Buchanan County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Thornton brought his daughter Aubrey, 18, to Bandana’s in support of the event.
“It raises money for a great organization that’s what my daughter has been a part of for several years,” he said.
Aubrey Thornton played basketball and bowled in previous Special Olympic games.
“As I’ve been a part of it for so long, that it’s just kind of a neat deal to have the support for the athletes and for the group," Matt Thornton said. "Everyone we know appreciates it."
St. Joseph Police Officer Matt Kneib and the SWAT team set up an armored police car outside of the restaurant. He said SJPD just wanted to do something a little extra because the event is so special.
“We brought that out so kids could kind of use that as a mobile jungle gym and get to play around inside and check it out, and take pictures with family,” Kneib said.
The SWAT car was Aubrey’s favorite part.
“I loved it,” Aubrey said.
Inside the restaurant, police officers bussed tables, stopped and chatted with customers and helped with orders.
Last year the event raised $2,000. This year the event raised $1,175.
Fundraisers like Tip-A-Cop cover the costs of putting on and participating in the Special Olympics. More than 16,000 athletes with intellectual or developmental disabilities participate in Missouri’s Special Olympics for free.
If you missed the event, you can donate to the cause on the Special Olympics Missouri website.
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