For diners visiting Texas Roadhouse Thursday evening, servers wearing a different kind of uniform will be helping wait on tables.
From 5 to 9 p.m., Sherman Police officers will be refilling drinks and bringing bread to the table to raise money for Special Olympics Texas. Law enforcement agencies are helping to serve at Texas Roadhouse locations across the state Thursday for the Tip A Cop event.
“It's our chance to give back to the community,” Sherman Police Sgt. D.M. Hampton said.
Hampton said six to seven Sherman officers will wait on tables in a limited capacity in order to receive an extra tip that will be donated to Special Olympics Texas in support of local athletes. Tela Mange, vice president of communications for Special Olympics Texas, said more than 100 law enforcement agencies across the state are involved in the Thursday night event in which the organization has set a fundraising goal of $200,000 statewide.
“Funds raised in each location will stay in that area to help fund athletic competitions and other programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities,” Mange said.
The uniformed officers will also be teaming up with the local Special Olympic Athletes who visit each table. Mange said the athletes typically talk about their experiences and show off their athletic achievements.
“They usually bring at least one medal,” Mange said. “Some of our athletes bring, if not every single medal that they have, they bring an awful lot of them, and they talk to each folks about how they won their medals.”
Though the extra tip is appreciated, Hampton noted it doesn't replace the real server's tip. Actual waiters will still take the orders and do their usual work.
“We obviously don't want to take away from the tip of the regular servers, so we're asking for a small donation to help some of the kiddos and young adults that participate in Special Olympics,” Hampton said.
Mange said she hears from police chiefs across the state that their officers get more out participating in Torch Runs and supporting events than perhaps the athletes. She noted the event also serves to bring the officers out into the community and promote positive interactions.
“Sometimes folks aren't necessarily happy or excited to see a police officer, so this an opportunity for everybody to kind of get together and enjoy a non-confrontational moment that actually goes toward a good cause,” Mange said.
Hampton said the officers are looking forward this event and serving the community.
“There's going to be a lot of people from our community that are going to take part in this, and come out there and support Special Olympics Texas,” Hampton said. “We look forward to seeing everybody out there and we hope we raise a lot of money.”
Hampton said they will also be selling Special Olympic T-shirts for the fundraising effort. The Texas Roadhouse in Sherman is located at 2773 U.S. Highway 75 North.
“On Thursday, we're going to put word 'serve' in protect and serve,” Hampton said.