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Soddy-Daisy, TN: A group of law enforcement officers hold a fundraiser at several Tennessee restaurants to raise money for Special Olympics and raised a whopping $15,000 in just one night.
The event, called Tip-A-Cop, puts officers in a new role as restaurant servers. Then they wait on tables and serve members of the community as both a fundraiser and community relations.
The night went without a hitch and brought members from the police department and community together. It also was a great opportunity to connect and socialize with some athletes who are training for the Special Olympics- one of America’s most heart-warming athletic competitions.
Officer Scott Bishop, one of the officers in attendance, told LET all about the touching experience and the overall success of the evening. He represented his agency, the Soddy-Daisy Police Department. Officers from the Tennessee Highway patrol were also present- and were great servers, too.
Officer Bishop told LET:
“We waited tables, refilled drinks, brought bread and helped seat people alongside the wait staff/crew and five of the sweetest Special Olympics athletes.”
“This is a yearly event, and I would love to see other departments and states jump on board. It not only supports the [Special Olympics] but also gets law enforcement back into the community.”
The Tip-a-Cop event is not new, but it could always use more press. Far too many media outlets focus solely on the bad, especially when it comes to law enforcement.
And we hope it will continue its successful streak and grows throughout the nation.
Officer Bishop said:
“Tip-A-Cop events take place all across the country and have been happening for many years. Here in Tennessee, we have been actively hosting Tip-A-Cop events for the last 4 to 5 years.”
And their last event, held at ten individual locations across the state of Tennessee, was a total success. They were able to raise over $15,000 dollars for the Special Olympics in one evening.
The funds raised helps pay for participants to compete in competitions, so they don’t have to pay for themselves.
And the Special Olympics is a very worthy and honorable cause. According to their website, it states:
“The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”
An added benefit to hosting Tip-A-Cop events is to connect with the community. Over the last few years, the entire law enforcement profession has come under fire in several directions: the media, the public and, sadly enough, politicians.
They have criticized the law enforcement profession. Only recently, has it become clear that the country cannot function properly without a law enforcement presence.
Hosting Tip-A-Cop events are great ways for members of the community to interact with law enforcement officers. Everyone involved can come together as one for an important cause- raising money for the Special Olympics.
And the Tip-A-Cop event is a critical function for Officer Bishop as well.
He told LET:
“Things like this is extremely special for me. The dream was always being a cop since age six, but I was very obese and could not cut the requirements. I ended up changing my life after a medical emergency.”
Officer Bishop went on a long-term mission to become healthy and eventually was able to become a police officer. But he never forgot about his past and wants to help the future of those who want to be in the Special Olympics.
2023 Fundraising Plans
He has even greater fundraising efforts planned for 2023. It’s a true testament to his ambition to help those excel and grow.
And it’s quite a mission they are all planning. He told LET:
“In January, we will host a law enforcement Torch Run in Gatlinburg to kick off our Winter Games and will host 12 Polar Plunges across the state [of Tennessee].”
“Law enforcement across Tennessee are huge supporters of the Polar Plunge events, and we can’t wait to be Freezin’ for a Reason.” (www.polarplungetn.com)
If you are interested in organizing a Tip-A-Cop event for your department, CLICK HERE for complete instructions. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Special Olympics.
Tennessee law enforcement agencies have raised $454,599 in 2022. Can your state do better?
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