By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – Friday, Aug. 4, from 6 to 11 a.m., Sidney law enforcement teamed up with Special Olympics athletes to help raise funds for the latter as part of the Cops on Top initiative, operating under the auspices of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, begun in Kansas in 1981.
Though 2017 marked Sidney’s second year participating, Cops on Top is in its sixth year. The Sidney collection site is always at the Dunkin’ Donuts located in the Speedway plaza at 117 NY-7.
In a written statement, chief of the Sidney Police Department, Jan Gorshack, said 2017’s early collection totals well-surpassed last year’s.
“Last year this location raised $1,060; this year we are over $3,000,” said Gorshack. With 37 locations in central New York from Binghamton to Oswego, the annual goal is $60,000. Gorshack noted that, in 2016, Cops on Top raised more than $63,000. In its six years, the initiative has raised $176,342 and the governing entity, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, more than $2 million in 2016.
Since the event’s 2012 inception, Cops on Top has worked to back 440 local Special Olympics participants and 67,574 Special Olympics athletes in New York.
Asked about Friday’s event, Gorshack said it was “outstanding,” adding, “It was a really great turnout from the community.” He continued, “I think it’s better (than last year) and (was made) a lot busier by putting people at the (Dunkin’ Donuts) drive-through and out front.”
Officer Christopher Dionne of the Sidney Police said donations were “steady” and noted, “We had more people to work it, so we got better donations.”
Gorshack said members of the Sidney Police Department, NYS Police at Troop C and volunteers from the community worked with Norwich law enforcement representatives and several Springbrook residents who are also Special Olympics athletes to make the event a success.
Fall training clubs for prospective Special Olympics athletes ages 8 and up are forming now. For information or to donate, visit http://www.nyso.org.