Deputies serve meals – instead of subpoenas – to help Special Olympics

See command staff and deputies from the Multnomah County Sheriffs Office again volunteered to bus tables and fetch drinks at the Mall 205 Red Robin Restaurant. It’s a pretty cool thing they’re doing …

Perry and Cory Horton get “awesome, unexpected, but really cool” service from Multnomah County Sheriffs Office Sergeant Travis Gullberg – during “Tip-a-Cop” day at the Mall 205 Red Robin.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Although it was widely promoted, many customers who visited the Mall 205 Red Robin Restaurant on March 26 were still surprised to get special service by law enforcement men and women dressed in green Multnomah County Sheriffs Office (MCSO) command staff and deputies.

“Today is our annual ‘Tip-a-Cop’ event, in support of the Special Olympics,” explained MCSO Sgt. Travis Gullberg as he bussed a table.

“In conjunction with Red Robin, we’re working here today to generate donations,” Gullberg continued. “Deputies, reserves, and command staff volunteer their time to come in and work a lunch or a dinner shift as a busboy, and ask for donations on behalf of Special Olympics.”

They don’t, of course, snatch servers’ tips, Gullberg said, they merely ask patrons if they’d like to donate to Special Olympics – a charity supported by law enforcement agencies across the nation.

The sergeant said two volunteer shifts of MCSO staff were working at the restaurant, about 15 in all, throughout the day. It’s one of several events they hold during the year, including their “Polar Plunge” and “Torch Run” fundraisers.

“The great thing is, all of the money collected here today stays here, locally,” Gullberg noted. “We enjoy supporting this great cause.”

Red Robin server Rachel Anna Dial, along with Callene McGrady, Assistant Manager of the Mall 205 Red Robin, and MSCO Deputy Anne Auxier, pause for a photo together while bussing a table.

“We’re so proud to be part of this wonderful fundraiser they do,” said the restaurant’s Assistant Manager, Callene McGrady. “It’s a fun event that helps a good cause, and we appreciate the fact that the money raised stays right here in Oregon to help our kids.”

Asked if she’d consider hiring any of the MCSO volunteers as bus or wait staff, McGrady quickly responded, “We definitely would!  And, at the end of the day, you’ll find they’re really wiped out; we really do work them. They’re not just standing around smiling – they bring water, bus tables – and they get the orders right. They are paying attention, and doing a great job.”

Welcoming guests to the restaurant is Special Athlete Brendon, standing next to MCSO Deputy Mark Inman, with Athlete Shane Redford, Deputy Mark Boyer, with Deputy Charles Hatcher and Special Olympics Athlete Collin Pidgeon in front.

To “inspire greatness” is the mission of Special Olympics Oregon, we learned. To find out more about the organization, and how to support it, see its website: CLICK HERE.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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