Police work at local restaurant to raise money for Special Olymp - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Police work at local restaurant to raise money for Special Olympics

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Local police officers worked an unfamiliar beat this weekend, serving fries and drinks at Red Robin to help out a local non profit group.

"Our officers that are here are volunteering their time today on their days off and their time off to come in because they realize how important it is to serve our community even when they're off duty," said Officer Kyle Roder of the Eau Claire Police Department.

The Eau Claire Police worked alongside the regular staff to raise money for Special Olympics Wisconsin.

"My only restaurant experience has to do with dishwashing so I've never been out and about working with the customers so this is a new experience for me. I guess we'll see how it goes," said Ben Miller, Community Service Officer with the Eau Claire Police Department.

All of the donations are put to use locally, helping to fund events for athletes from 18 different counties in western Wisconsin.

"Right now we have about 500 athletes that are competing in our regional tournament, and we need to pay for things like lane rental and shoe rental, and the athletes need to eat, that kind of thing. So the money the officers are raising at Red Robin is going directly to events like this tournament," said Special Olympics Wisconsin's Karen Krause.

With a good performance, the athletes have a chance to make an appearance at the sectional and state tournaments, although everyone here walks out a winner.

"This is their first chance to interact with other athletes from other agencies, to see their friends, because they don't see them always during the rest of the year. So they come and they're high-fiving each other, they're competing in bowling, they're walking away with their ribbon," Krause said.

The tip a cop event will continue at other Red Robins stores across the country, with an ultimate goal of raising $1 million for Special Olympics programs. In Eau Claire, organizers raised just over $2,000 from today's event.

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