Sheriff’s Deputies wait on tables to help Special Olympians

See why our Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office deputies and command staff were bussing tables and serving meals at the Gateway Applebees restaurant …

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Captain Mary Lindstrand is ready to welcome diners – along with Special Athlete Aaron Cunningham – at the Applebees restaurant in Gateway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
They told us they don’t see themselves as “celebrity waiters” – the term which Special Olympics of Oregon (SOOR) uses to describe law enforcement officers who volunteer for their “Tip-A-Cop” fundraiser.

But the command staff and deputies of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) who volunteered on June 14 at the Applebee restaurant in the Gateway Shopping Center were indeed “superstars” to the cause, as they greeted guests, bussed tables and chatted with diners about their work – all to support SOOR.

“We don’t compete with the wait staff for their tips,” pointed out MCSO Captain Mary Lindstrand. “But, after telling people about the Special Olympics, many customers also leave ‘tips’ that we donate to SOOR to help provide training and competition opportunities for athletes with special needs.”

MCSO Deputy John Zwick clears tables with Mike Keller, manager of the Gateway Applebee restaurant.

Manager of the mid-County restaurant Mike Keller commented to East Portland News, “They’re doing just great. It looks like they’re making friends with our customers, and that is a good thing.”

All Oregon Applebee units participate in this particular effort, Keller said. “It’s always good to help the community; we do it in as many ways as we can. This is a relatively simple way to be involved with a very good cause. We’re glad to have them here.”

MCSO Sgt. Steve Dangler spends a moment with customer, Patty Dean, who said she stopped by for dinner after getting off work at OHSU, along with her coworker.

Seeing the smiling face of Special Athlete Aaron Cunningham, and hearing him tell how he competes in Track & Field events, helped several customers see just how much good the organization does. “When I participate, I feel very proud to be an athlete. I enjoy doing the athletics, and being constantly busy, and keeping in shape. It is a fun time.”

“Special Olympics Oregon” provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports, for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, East Portland News learned – giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in sharing their gifts, skills, and friendship with their families.

Also on our front page … Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jason Gates is on his way to serve a hot appetizer.

  • To learn more about SOOR, see their website: CLICK HERE.
  • Applebee’s Gateway restaurant located at 10004 NE Halsey Street.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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