You may have heard the term, “Eat, Drink & Love for Special Olympics” throughout Northern, California. Recently, the Brentwood Police Department jumped into the action and hosted a “Tip-A-Cop” fundraiser at Zephyr’s Grill and Bar, located in the historical downtown Brentwood corridor, to support Special Olympic Athletes.
The Special Olympics is a global organization that promotes understanding, acceptance, and inclusion among people with, and without intellectual disabilities. The official website for the Special Olympics states, “We unleash the power of the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day, around the world.”
The organization was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the mission to provide a place with an individual with intellectual disabilities to realize their potential and develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. The organization also works diligently to fight against intolerance, injustice, inactivity and social isolation that many of these athletes would face if they were not supported. Today, the Special Olympics provides opportunities to over 4.9 million athletes through year-round sports training and athletic competitions.
You might be wondering how Tip-A-Cop and Zephyr’s fits into the Special Olympics landscape. The Brentwood Police Department decides to take “protect and serve” into one of our local favorite restaurants. Tip-A-Cop fundraisers are opportunities to police officers to serve as celebrity waiters, where all the tips they receive are donated to the Special Olympics. This is both a fun, and delicious, strategy to support local Special Olympians and Special Olympics Northern California. From the perspective of local police officers, it is an innovative strategy to interact with people in the community they might otherwise not get to meet – all while supporting a beloved non-profit.
Tip-A-Cop events are important to the overall success of Special Olympic Programs. In Northern California, nearly 23,000 people are able to participate in programming due to donations, such as those Brentwood Polic Department will provide through their tips. All programs are no cost to the participants. Even more importantly, programs that are provided include sports training, but also educational programs and athlete health programs.
How to Become Involved
There are many ways you can support Special Olympics Northern California and local Special Olympic athletes. First, attend one of many Tip-A-Cop events. Although we were lucky enough to meet with Brentwood PD, there are Tip-A-Cop events throughout California. Special Olympics of California also offers volunteer opportunities, various fundraising events, and a place where direct donations can be made to the organization. To learn more about Tip-A-Cop programs or other ways to help, visit https://www.sonc.org/ for more information.
Big Thanks to the following businesses for participating in this special event:
- Zephyr Grill & Bar in Brentwood
- In collaboration with the Brentwood Police Department, they were able to raise $3700 for Special Olympics Northern California
- Zephyr Grill & Bar in Livermore
- In collaboration with the Livermore Police Department, they were able to raise $2700for Special Olympics Northern California
- Smith’s Landing Seafood & Grill
- In collaboration with the Antioch Police Department, they were able to raise $2800 for Special Olympics Northern California