Joco 913

Dollars to doughnuts, cops raise funds for Special Olympics

Scott Sykes, 5, of Overland Park, watches as Johnson County Citizens Academy volunteers Mike Asselta and Henry Scheibner send his donation for the Special Olympics up to Johnson County Master Deputy Ronnie Dewitt and Deputy Cole Shope on the roof of Dunkin' Donuts.
Scott Sykes, 5, of Overland Park, watches as Johnson County Citizens Academy volunteers Mike Asselta and Henry Scheibner send his donation for the Special Olympics up to Johnson County Master Deputy Ronnie Dewitt and Deputy Cole Shope on the roof of Dunkin' Donuts. Special to The Star

Cops and doughnuts — it’s a stereotype that’s been around a long time, and in May, local law enforcement agencies played it up to benefit the Special Olympics. For nine hours on May 19, officer sat on the roof at six Johnson County locations of Dunkin’ Donuts, collecting donations for the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run, which benefits the Special Olympics.

Although the Special Olympics holds similar fundraisers nationwide, this was the first time it’s been done in Kansas. Altogether, the Johnson County locations raised $8,100.

Different departments manned various locations in Overland Park, Shawnee, Lenexa and Olathe, with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department handling fundraising duties at the store by 151th Street and 69 Highway.

“We’re laughing at ourselves here. We’re playing off the idea that us and doughnuts are tight,” said Capt. Rick Newson from the sheriff’s department.

Workers donated their tips, and customers also left donations. Those who donated received a certificate for a free doughnut, but many people refused to take the certificate, preferring to just donate, according to the store’s general manager, Tim Flowers.

At that location, six officers and 10 volunteers from the Citizens Academy participated in the fundraiser. Whenever children came by to donate, the volunteers put the money in a bucket which the officers pulled up to the roof.

A group of Special Olympics athletes from VIP Day Services in Olathe came by to check out the event. Bobby Redick, who’s been participating in the Special Olympics for about nine year, said he was impressed by the fundraiser.

“I love police officers. It makes me feel good to be around police officers,” he said.

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