Tip a Cop may raise money for the Special Olympics, but Officer Ken Howell said it’s more than that.

“It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of Newberg’s finest and test out our abilities,” he said.

Going into its third year, Tip a Cop takes place once a year at Lil’ Cooperstown Pub and the proceeds earned by the officers volunteering benefit the Special GARY ALLEN - For a good cause - Every year officers, such as Sgt. Gwen Johns (above), work alongside wait staff at Lil' Cooperstown Pub to raise money for the Special Olympics. This year the event takes place May 23.

“Typically, you have an officer signed up with a waitress or waiter, (they) then work the table with them and have athletes out there assigned with us too,” Howell said. “We assist with waiting tables, working the bar, then they tip the wait staff as they normally do and we pass an envelope out at the end asking for an additional tip for the officer.”

That money is then donated. Howell said it gets pretty competitive between officers. But the evening is also a fun event for the community.

“It is like a little city party,” Sgt. Gwen Johns said in an email. “People from city hall, the fire department, public works, the library, the DA’s office, local citizens, Special Olympic athletes and families and many others show up. It’s a Who’s Who of Newberg and Yamhill County and everyone is visiting and having a great time.”

She added that the officers who volunteer have a great time too.

“We look forward to volunteering at the event. We love working side by side with the Special Olympic athletes and Cooperstown’s staff. It is exhausting work, waiting tables, especially with the added weight of a vest and duty belt on, but an absolutely rewarding evening,” she said.

The evening raised more than $1,900 last year and Johns said they hope to keep building on that total. But Tip a Cop isn’t the only fundraiser for the Special Olympics, there are events year-round, including perhaps the more familiar torch run in July.

“Newberg-Dundee’s leg of the run is July 12, and is the final leg bringing the torch to the Summer Games at Newberg High school,” Johns said. “We (also) had a NDPD Polar Plunge team that plunged into the Columbia River in March. Brrrrrrr.

“All money raised by NDPD goes directly to Yamhill County Special Olympic athletes,” she said. “The great thing is that we keep the money local and our athletes benefit.”

Tip a Cop is set for 5 to 9 p.m. May 20 at Lil’ Cooperstown Pub.

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