Deputies dish with diners for Special Olympics

Here’s why so many Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office deputies were at this Gateway restaurant in outer East Portland, not long ago …

Welcoming diners to the Red Robin restaurant in the Hazelwood neighborhood are MCSO Correction Division deputies Randy Bergeson and Kevin Wooley.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For a dozen years now, deputies and command staff have dedicated a fall Saturday afternoon and evening – this year, it was October 21 – to tell Red Robin restaurant patrons about their involvement in the “Law Enforcement Torch Run” campaign in support of Special Olympics Oregon, and to ask for their support.

They call the event “Tip-A-Cop” – but, at the restaurant in the Mall 205 area, it should be called “Tip-A-Deputy”, because it’s personnel from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) who are stationed at this particular Red Robin.

Patrons Gengee Ramirez and Bridgette Carlson listen, while MCSO Correction Division Sergeant Richard Hathaway tells about his participation in Special Olympics Oregon.

“All of our volunteers here today are with the MCSO Corrections Department; in fact, this group is all from my shift at Inverness Jail,” smiled Sergeant Richard Hathaway.

All of these ten deputies, covering two shifts for the day, were there strictly as a volunteer, on their “own time”, Hathaway pointed out.

Due to changing rules, this year the deputies weren’t permitted to serve patrons, or to bus tables; but they could, and did, talk with customers, sharing their involvement in Special Olympics Oregon.

“We are doing this because it’s something we want to be a part of.

“For myself, I’ve been involved with Special Olympics Oregon since the 1990s,” Hathaway told East Portland News. “I have seen the positive effects produced by the Special Olympics Oregon and Torch Run.”

MCSO Corrections Department Deputy Tiffany DeMarsico spends a moment with Special Olympian Rebecca Smouse.

Special Olympian Rebecca Smouse was also there in support of the effort. “My sports are soccer, basketball, volleyball – actually I enjoy a variety of sports.

“We get to work with so many good people, and have a lot of fun, while we learn new things,” Smouse said.

She’s one of the 14,000 participants with intellectual disabilities served by Special Olympics Oregon – a program in which they gain self-confidence, social competency, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship – with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

Learn more about Special Olympics Oregon by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

> On our Front Page: MCSO Corrections Department Deputy Chezarae Simien tells people about Special Olympics Oregon

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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