ABILENE, Texas — The 13th annual ‘Tip A Cop’ benefit aimed at raising money for the Special Olympics kicked off at Texas Roadhouse in Abilene this week.
SpecialOlympics.org says its organization is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability.
Taylor County Chief Deputy Craig Griffis said officers look forward to this event every year and hopes law enforcement makes a difference when they participate.
“Well that’s the great thing about Abilene, Taylor County, and West Texas in general. We always come out to support each other. The Special Olympics is such a good cause and the people that participate in the Special Olympics are always out here to greet and help and with a big smile. With all the big hearts in West Texas, everybody wants to reach deep into their wallets and contribute to such a good cause,” Griffis said.
Special Olympics participants were ecstatic to be at the event and have the opportunity to help waiters take orders alongside officers, which is who some of them look up to.
“It’s so great that people donate and come out to help us to try and go out and compete in spring and summer games. We look forward to it every year and we’re happy to go out and have a blast,” Michael Martinez, Special Olympics participant, said.
The Special Olympics has nearly two million volunteers and more than 5.7 million participants. These athletes have the opportunity to be themselves and enjoy what they love in their own league.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run sponsored this event as well as hundreds of other events across Texas and around the country. Since the next big summer games are taking place in September, West Texas Area Program Director Carly Davis is grateful for law enforcement's participation.
“It’s been amazing for our program. Not only are we getting involved with the community, they get to see our athletes and the excitement they have. But they’re also getting donations to help with competitions and events. And that just makes athletes whole year.”
This event in Abilene will be hosted by Taylor County Sheriff’s Office and DPS, Abilene Fire Department and EMS, Dyess Sergeant Association, and the Abilene Police Department. It will be from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. through Thursday, July 22 at Texas Roadhouse, 1381 S. Danville Drive.