Gateway Applebee’s patrons served by special green-suited waiters

Nope, it wasn’t space aliens – but instead those good folks from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office at it again! See why they’re happy doing KP duty …

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Steve Alexander is ready to greet guests arriving at the Gateway Applebee’s – along with Special Olympics soccer athlete Jamie Newman.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Not that long ago, we found the green-uniformed command staff and deputies of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) bussing tables at the Mall 205 Red Robin restaurant, at a “Tip-a-Cop for Special Olympics” event.

Many patrons were surprised to see uniformed MCSO folks delivering their beverages and meals, and cleaning tables, at the Applebee’s Restaurant in the Gateway Shopping Center on NE Halsey Street.

MCSO Deputy Mike Morrow hustles out plates food at this Tip-a-Cop event.

“It’s my first time participating in a ‘Tip-a-Cop’ event,” smiled Lt. Steve Alexander, the agency’s public information officer. “This is great; it’s fantastic. Applebee’s has been very helpful in getting us prepared for learning how to serve their customers.”

The restaurant’s staff isn’t actually replaced by MCSO volunteers, Alexander explained. “We help out as best we can; but we make sure they get their tips for service. We put envelopes on the tables, and customers can make a donation to Special Olympics, too, if they so choose.”

Applebee’s manager David Dellsite gets help bussing a table from MCSO Sgt. James Eriksen.

The Applebee’s manager on duty, David Dellsite, was happy that his restaurant was participating in the fund-raiser. “It’s going very smoothly tonight. And, it’s a lot more fun than I thought it would be. It’s really nice, and I’m very happy to be part of it.”

In addition to raising funds to support Special Olympics, Dellsite added, “The people who’ve come to dine with us see people from the Sheriff’s office in a new way. And, because they see us supporting Special Olympics, they know we’re all working together to help improve our neighborhood – and the lives of these special athletes.”

MCSO Captain Mary Lindstrand serves soup to Applebee’s diner Shane Lee.

Although the restaurant was busy, the extra help provided by the MCSO folks quickened service and made it easier for the wait staff, as they refilled beverage glasses and cleaned tables.

“All of us,” Alexander pointed out, “Lieutenants, captains, sergeants, and deputies, are volunteering to be here. Some have just finished their shift; others are about to go on duty. It makes me feel good to participate here today with our fine people.”

To learn more about Oregon Special Olympics, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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