Local law enforcement officers will be working for tips at the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant today through Thursday to raise money for the Special Olympics.
Officers from approximately 14 agencies volunteer their time to help wait tables, refill drinks, get napkins or silverware – basically anything that doesn’t require touching or serving food – to raise money for the special cause, said Sgt. Jason James from the Bryan Police Department.
“It’s important to the officers,” James said. “Law enforcement carries in the Olympic torch and places it into the arena – we help light the flame. We are the largest grassroots effort to raise money for the Special Olympics.”
From 3 to 10 p.m. at 1601 University Drive in College Station, officers from the Bryan, College Station, Blinn and Texas A&M University Police Departments; Brazos County Sherriff’s and Constables Offices; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; Texas Department of Public Safety; and several other agencies, will accept cash, checks and credit card donations. About 14 officers will be working two-hour shifts at a time.
Across the nation, law enforcement raises money for the event this time of year. Brazos Valley agencies choose to work at a restaurant for tips to fundraise because it also helps the community get to the know officers and see them wanting to give back, James said.
“It’s a very giving community on both the law enforcement side and the citizens that come in and want to eat with us,” James said.
This is the first year local businesses have pledged to match donations in an hour, so James said he is hoping to raise more than $30,000, which is the approximate annual amount raised the last few years. However, if they reach their goal of $30,000, he’ll be very happy, he said.
The proceeds are needed for equipment, transportation and renting facilities, which are desperately needed for the event to take place, James said.
“The money we raise makes sure the Olympics Games happen,” James said. “It gets people who are prone to being isolated out of the house; it keeps them healthy and active and socializing.”
The wait at the restaurant during the fundraising event can be long, so James also encourages the community to drop off a donation at the restaurant or mail a donation to him at 303 E. 29th St., Bryan, TX 77803. Checks can be made payable to Special Olympics Texas.