'Tip a Cop' returns to benefit Special Olympics
Greensburg Daily News - 11/2/2017
Nov. 02--GREENSBURG -- Having raised around $3,000 in two previous fundraisers, Greensburg Police are again partnering with Pizza King and Special Olympics for a third 'Tip a Cop' event next week.
This year's event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Greensburg's Pizza King and will again see police officers and Special Olympics athletes working together to bus tables.
The tips for the guest wait staff will be collected for the state's Special Olympics program, which offers sports opportunities such as basketball, golf, bowling and many more for people with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.
The Decatur County program falls under that umbrella and allows local people with disabilities to compete against others from across the state at events such as the annual Summer Games in Terre Haute each month.
Greensburg Chief of Police Brendan Bridges has supported those activities and more, and he was the driving force behind bringing "Tip a Cop" to the Tree City in 2015.
"I would say the first two years we have raised over $3,000 in a total of six hours [of work], which is very excellent," the chief said Wednesday. "We knew this was something we wanted to continue."
Bridges said the Tip a Cop program serves as a positive form of public relations for the police department as well as for the athletes who overcome daily challenges to compete in athletic competitions throughout the year.
But they're also working to be a positive citizen presence in Decatur County, and they're giving back each day to the hometown they love by holding jobs, volunteering and being a part of community events.
The athletes will be front and center alongside the GPD's uniformed volunteers, clearing tables, refilling drinks and interacting with the public.
Bridges said he believes the athletes' work hasn't gone unnoticed.
"The public realizes what these athletes are doing and how much time they dedicate to Special Olympics," the police chief said.
Bridges said four to eight officers are expected to help out at this year's Tip a Cop.
Bridges' work with Special Olympics was recently emblazoned on his police cruiser, which bears the organization's famous torch logo. He said he received permission to put the decal on the car, which has been well-received -- particularly by the athletes with whom Bridges and other officers often interact.
The department has held body safety programs and other informative discussions with clients of Developmental Services, Inc. in the past. Many of those clients are also Special Olympics athletes.
"As involved as we're getting with Special Olympics, we thought it would be a nice gesture," Bridges said of adding the logo to the squad car. "We just wanted to let everyone know the police department is supporting these athletes. The kids love it and the athletes love it. They know their hard work is paying off."
Bridges is also set to make a special guest appearance at a performance by the "Front and Center Players," a variety program sponsored by the ARC of Decatur County that features people with disabilities performing almost two dozen comedy sketches.
The performance is free and begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, at the Decatur County Community Schools Administration Building.
The Daily News will have more information about the free Front and Center Players variety show in future print editions and online at greensburgdailynews.com.
Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; firstname.lastname@example.org
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