Police, Chick-fil-A to Help Special Olympics
Two police departments in Moore County are partnering with a local restaurant to help raise funds for Special Olympics.
Officers from Pinehurst and Southern Pines will take part in Tip a Cop and Cops on Top, two fundraising events at Chick-fil-A in Southern Pines. The events are being held during National Police Week.
Pinehurst Police Chief Earl Phipps, familiar with the events after his days in Greenville, said the events are an easy, fun way to build and strengthen relationships between the police and the community, as well as helping Special Olympics.
“It is a team effort for a worthy cause,” Phipps said.
As part of Tip a Cop, officers will don aprons and serve customers their orders for tips.
“This is a chance for everyone to come in and give us some orders,” Phipps said.
Two days later, officers will take to the roof of the restaurant, armed with megaphones and buckets to solicit donations.
The events, which are part of National Police Week, will help raise funds for Special Olympics in Moore County. All the events lead up to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on May 29. The final leg of the Torch Run culminates in Raleigh with the lighting of the flame for the Special Olympics Summer Games held June 1-3.
Tip a Cop will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this coming Thursday. Police officers from Southern Pines and Pinehurst will don aprons and work in the restaurant, serving customers food for donations.
Saturday, Cops on Top will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature activities for children, including finger painting, a bounce house, a K-9 demonstration, police cars, and a dunking booth.
Southern Pines Police Chief John Letteney and Phipps will be the star attractions in the booth.
While the chiefs are in the booth, officers from both departments will be on the roof with megaphones, soliciting donations from patrons. Officers will lower buckets from the roof to collect donations. Collections will also be taken at the drive-through window.
Lt. Rodney Hardy of the Southern Pines Police Department will be one of the officers on the roof. He said participating in the event was an easy choice because Special Olympics are “near and dear to all our hearts.”
Saturday’s event begins with an opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. It will be highlighted by the raising of the flag to honor fallen officers. In 2011 more than 350 officers nationwide lost their lives in the line of duty, including Moore County sheriff’s deputy Rick Rhyne, who was shot and killed on Dec. 8.
In addition to those events, Chick-fil-A is also raising money by collecting donations in exchange for Special Olympics decals. Decals are available now through May 18 for a $1 donation.
The decals have helped raise more than $1,000 so far.
“People are giving more,” said Brenda Ivy, a manager with Chick-fil-A. “Just last week we had a customer come in and donate $100.”
Christine Roth, an employee at Chick-fil-A, was instrumental in organizing the events.
A native of upstate New York, Roth moved to Moore County a decade ago. During her time in Moore County, Roth said she has forged a close bond with both departments. Her son, John Sawa, died in the line of duty in 1997 while working as an Atlanta police officer.
“We have never done anything like this in Moore County,” Roth said. “I wanted to do it because I lost my son, because the officers in both departments are my family.”
She added: “It is a dream for me to help these police officers.”
Cops on Top is done at stores around North Carolina, but most events are hosted by Chick-fil-A restaurants. Roth said she hopes to out-raise all the other Chick-fil-As and collect more than $5,000 for the Special Olympics.
Others are setting the bar a bit higher.
“We want to raise as much money as we can,” Hardy said. “We want to exceed the goal. I would be ecstatic if we double or triple it.”
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or email@example.com.
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