Lee’s Summit officers chip in to raise money for Special Olympics Missouri

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Law enforcement swarmed a Lee's Summit restaurant Sunday to serve up chips and salsa to help fund a good cause.

Jennifer Neihouse has been attending 'Tip-A-Cop' at Habanero's for the past decade and it means a little more to her than most. She plays eight sports Special Olympics has to offer.

"My favorite sport is basketball and swimming," Jennifer said.

The annual 'Tip-A-Cop' at the Habanero's in Lee's Summit helps fund them all.

"It kind of takes care of like their competitions their uniforms," a Lee's Summit Police Officer explains to a customer.

Men and women in blue deliver food and clean tables to 'earn tips' for Special Olympics Missouri.

"And all of the money we raise stays in the Kansas City area," Officer Amanda Geno explained.

She has chipped in at these events for the past 10 years, so she knows the risks.

"Oh it's funny," Geno says, "We go home with chips and salsa and stuff all over us."

Apart from raising money for athletes, Geno says it serves a purpose for citizens, too.

"We just get a chance to really get to know them and let them know, hey we have a heart, we have, you know, kind of that soft side," Geno said.

"The police officers are just, they go above and beyond for Special Olympics, they do so much," Dianna said.

Jennifer's mom and coach, Dianna, said Tip-A-Cop has given their family something no money could match -- her daughter's independence.
"I'm a hostess," Jennifer said.

Habanero's offered Jennifer a job six years ago at one of these events.

"Just to give her an opportunity to be out and do something and be productive," Dianna said, "I'm truly thankful for them," And the officers working hard to keep their friends, like Jennifer, safe and happy.

Just the way they interact with the athletes and how the athletes appreciate them is just truly amazing.

If you didn't get a chance to stop by the Tip-A-Cop in Lee's Summit, but would still like to donate click here

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