The annual Tip-A-Cop program at Applebee’s is a unique way for Reno law enforcement officers and the restaurant to join together to raise funds for the Special Olympics.
In March 2009, Reno police and Applebee’s raised about $4,100 and in November another $3,136 for the Special Olympics program through the Tip-A-Cop event, raising the most donated “tips” in a single location in Nevada. Collectively, three restaurants in Reno, Sparks and Carson City raised $9,800 of the more than $25,000 raised through all 13 locations in Nevada that month.
During the course of the customer’s meal, Reno police officers, community service officers and S.A.V.E. program members will partner with the regular restaurant staff to visit with the customers, talk about Special Olympics and solicit tax-deductible “tips” as donations for the program that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for more than 4,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Law enforcement officers statewide participate in the program.
“Fund raisers like Tip-A-Cop are conducted so that northern Nevada Special Olympians can compete in their summer games at no cost to them,” said Colleen Guilford, a Reno police officer who is coordinating the event. “When we assist and raise money, we lessen the burden on these families. Their loved ones gain a wealth of mental benefits and physical benefits by participating in these sporting events.”
The tax-deductible donations for the Special Olympics through Tip-A-Cop are not meant to replace gratuities for the hardworking restaurant servers who will team with the Reno officers during lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.