Sgt. David Cavanaugh of the Porter County Sheriff's Department hands a donation for Porter County Special Olympics to civil clerk Margaret Hawkins at the Red Robin in Valparaiso, Ind., on Oct. 13, 2012. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
AT A GLANCE
For more information about Porter County Special Olympics, go to www.porcoso.org.
Updated: November 23, 2012 6:06AM
The servers at Red Robin in Valparaiso got a little extra help on a recent Saturday, and it was all for a good cause.
Police officers with the Porter County Sheriff’s Department helped get and refill drinks and clear tables as a fundraiser for Porter County Special Olympics.
The officers asked for donations in addition to the tips diners left for the wait staff, said Sgt. David Cavanaugh. They worked two shifts, at lunch and dinner.
“Everybody’s been very nice; they’re donating,” Cavanaugh said. “They like that it’s staying local.”
Cavanaugh worked for Opportunity Enterprises, a service agency for people with disabilities, as a summer job when he was in his late teens, “so I know where the money goes. It’s a worthy cause.”
Scott Miller, general manager at the restaurant, said the location does what it can for local causes, including supporting local schools.
Helping out the Special Olympics is a local effort and a national one for the Red Robin chain.
“As a company, we try to get involved as much as we can,” he said.
Lee Anne Bettenhausen of Kouts sported a handful of Special Olympics medals around her neck. She said she has participated in the program since she was 14, taking part in sports such as snowshoeing, beanbags, basketball, bowling and swimming, which she said was her favorite.
“To me, it’s like flying,” she said.
Special Olympics helps folks become better people, she said, adding she appreciated the fundraising by the Sheriff’s Department.
“I think it’s a good thing, and I think it’s a good thing that they care about the special-needs people of the community, as well as everybody else,” Bettenhausen said.