Wednesday, 01 February 2023

Tip-A-Cop raises thousands for Special Olympics

CLEARLAKE – It isn't every day that you can get a guy with a gun on his hip to cheerfully serve you breakfast or lunch.


But that was just the case on Thursday, when local law enforcement officers could be found – complete with smiles and speedy table service – at Main Street Bar and Grill for “Tip-A-Cop,” a fundraiser for Lake County Special Olympics.


Officer Adam Garcia of the California Highway Patrol said the event, which took place between 6:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., raised $1,758 in tips. Main Street Bar and Grill owner Sam Polo matched that amount, bringing the total to approximately $3,516.


“Sam is very generous to us today,” said Garcia.


Garcia said the the agencies participating included the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Probation Department, CHP, Lakeport Police and Clearlake Police.


“I think it's a worthy cause for our community,” said Garcia.


Approximately 65 athletes, ranging in age from 5 to 65, take part in Special Olympics locally, said Special Olympics volunteer Kristina Navarro.


In Lake County, there are events for the athletes year-round, said Navarro. A bowling tournament is scheduled for Nov. 24 at Lakeside Lanes.


Athletes also can compete to qualify for regional events, Navarro said.


There are two Tip-A-Cop events each year, said Navarro – besides the Clearlake event, there is one in Lakeport, which is held earlier in the year – along with a Torch Run and the Scorchin' Torch Poker Run.


Ruth Fortino, who has worked as a waitress at the restaurant for seven years, said the officers and deputies were doing well on their table-waiting assignments, and all were “eager to help.”


“It's been fun,” she said.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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