Morrow police Chief Chris Leighty chats with residents during the Tip-A-Cop Special Olympics fundraiser Thursday at the Morrow Joe's Crab Shack.
MORROW The Morrow Police Department raised nearly three-quarters of all “Tip-A-Cop” Special Olympics donations collected this year in metro Atlanta, said an official from the department.
Capt. Greg Tatroe said the department raised $2,699 for special needs athletes July 18 at the Joe’s Crab Shack in Morrow. The proceeds were split nearly 50-50 between tips and a portion of sales from the day-long fundraiser, with a slight majority coming from the tips.
Although the department’s goal was $5,000, the amount raised was still an impressive haul. It accounted for 67 percent of all proceeds collected at five metro area Joe's Crab Shack locations, said Tatroe. Joe’s locations in Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw and Stone Mountain also participated.
“On average, it costs $150 to send a Special Olympian to the Special Olympics and we will be able to send this year 18 children who otherwise would not be able to afford that cost,” said Tatroe.
This year’s haul brings the total number of dollars raised by the department to about $6,000 in the two years that it has participated in the “Tip-A-Cop” program. Last year, the department brought in about $3,300.
“Two years in a row, we've done pretty well,” said City Manager Jeff Eady.
City officials and several representatives from law enforcement agencies and offices across Clayton County ate at the restaurant that day to support the department and Special Olympics, said Eady. “It was a who’s who of law enforcement over there,” he said.
Throughout the day, Morrow cops donned colorful wigs, refilled drink orders and danced with Joe's Crab Shack waiters and waitresses. Chief Chris Leighty chatted up, and sometimes joked with, customers who were waiting for their orders to be taken. A police motorcycle group he is a member of also had their regular meeting at the restaurant to help the department.
Joe's Crab Shack patrons contributed in multiple ways. In addition to giving tips at the front door, they could also buy Georgia Special Olympics T-shirts and hats, and 10 percent of the cost of their meal was donated to Special Olympics if they presented a voucher when they paid their bills.
“Your Morrow Police Department really worked for it this time,” said Tatroe.