Officers collect more than $7,000 in tips for Special Olympics

March 29, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Issaquah police officers protect and serve — and on March 26, men and women in blue served meals, too.

Chris Wilson (right), an Issaquah police sergeant, serves lunch at Red Robin during the Special Olympics Tip-a-Cop fundraiser March 26. Members of the Gaines family are (from left) Bob, daughter Kara, 18, a Special Olympics basketball athlete, and mother Kathy, all of Newcastle. By Greg Farrar

For the annual Tip-a-Cop fundraiser, officers dished up burgers, fries and more to diners at Red Robin. Tips collected by officers benefited Special Olympics Washington.

Issaquah and Snoqualmie officers served meals for nine hours during the Saturday lunch and dinner rushes — and collected $7,741 in tips for the nonprofit organization.

“It’s just a positive feeling to know that you’re having fun and getting money to help out people that might not be able to participate in these sports events otherwise,” Issaquah Communications Specialist Jacqueline Kerness said.

Motorcycle officers and other motorcyclists kicked off the fundraiser at a motorcycle ride from the Issaquah Microsoft campus to the restaurant.

Special Olympics Washington set a statewide goal of $150,000 for the fundraiser. For people unable to attend Tip-a-Cop, Red Robin also accepted donations to the Special Olympics at the restaurant for days leading up to the fundraiser.

The nonprofit organization uses the dollars to provide year-round sports training and competition to build self-confidence and social skills, improve physical and motor skills in disabled children and adults.

Issaquah officers collected more than $6,000 during the Tip-a-Cop fundraiser last year.

Overall, officers and department personnel from numerous agencies set aside badges and handcuffs for aprons and menus at 34 Red Robin restaurants in the Puget Sound region and Eastern Washington. Officers and command staff members serve as “celebrity” servers alongside the Red Robin staff.

“The officers did a great job of explaining why they were there and what it benefits and where the money is going,” Kerness said. “They were really good at disseminating information.”

On the Web

Learn more about Special Olympics Washington programs, and donate to the nonprofit organization, at

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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One Response to “Officers collect more than $7,000 in tips for Special Olympics”

  1. Mike Crossley on April 5th, 2011 9:41 am

    I for one am very appreciative of the time and effort that IPD puts into supporting this organization. Proud to be a serving volunteer in Issaquah.

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