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Raising from the Roof

Local police raise more than $4,000 for Special Olympics

Published: Thursday, June 7, 2012 5:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, June 8, 2012 6:13 p.m. CDT
(Herald Photo by Lisa Pesavento —
Morris Police Patrolman Paul Cheskie collects donations in the drive through of Dunkin Donuts on East U.S. 6 in Morris for the Cop On Rooftop fundraiser to support the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Two local police departments reported a strong turnout for a fundraiser to support Special Olympics Illinois.

At the end of the fundraiser Friday, officers climbed down from the roofs of area Dunkin' Donuts stores to count up the funds collected in the annual Cop on the Rooftop fundraiser, which was held at one location in Morris and two on Ridge Road in Minooka. Departments reported receiving well over $4,000 in donations.

By all measures, Morris Officer Derek Zumbahlen said the event was a success.

"We ended up raising a little over $1,600, which is pretty good, I think, for our first year," he said.

From the start of the fundraiser Friday morning to its close in the afternoon, Zumbahlen said it had a good turnout. The morning was a busy one, he said, with a steady stream of customers willing to pitch in a few pennies to a few dollars.

"We're pretty happy with the result this year, and all the support," he said.

Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer said the scene was similar in Minooka, where officers ended up collecting more than $2,500. He thanked the community for their support of the fundraiser.

"It was a good event, a good turnout," he said. "It was a little chilly on top of the roof, but we were able to get down."

Statewide, police departments took part in similar events at 130 Dunkin' Donuts locations, Zumbahlen said. The collective effort brought raised a record-breaking amount of funds to support the Special Olympics — about $225,000.

Joe Pena, Channahon director of public safety and village administrator, is a former statewide Torch Run director for Special Olympics Illinois. He said those preliminary numbers are good.

"It was an amazingly good year," he said. "... It was a very, very positive, effective day for us."

Pena, who remains involved with the Special Olympics, said the funds raised go a long way with the organization, which will kick off its annual torch run throughout the state starting at the end of this week.

The torch run will come through Morris June 13 and 14. Athletes are gearing up for opening ceremonies for the summer games, which are set for June 15 in Bloomington-Normal.

"It's pretty huge for us," he said. "We really do appreciate the partnership that Dunkin' Donuts has formed with us, giving us the opportunity to go in and work their stores. We're looking for bigger and better next year."

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