‘Tip-a-Cop’ in Marysville benefits Special Olympics

MARYSVILLE — Rainy skies and afternoon traffic didn’t stop Marysville Police Department personnel from raising funds for Special Olympics at the Marysville Applebee’s Sept. 24.

The Abblebee’s “Tip-a-Cop” fundraiser for the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which benefits Special Olympics athletes statewide, is in addition to the annual event at the Lakewood Red Robin, where members of the Marysville, Arlington and Lake Stevens police departments served customers and showed off some of their equipment on April 17 this year.

Patricia Duemmell, an evidence technician with the Marysville Police Department and the coordinator for this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run, explained that this year marked the first Tip-a-Cop at the the Marysville Applebee’s, where they were welcomed by waitstaff and managers from 5-9 p.m.

“It’s a really positive event that’s been very well organized,” Marysville Applebee’s Manager Rick Cannata said. “Our staff has had a lot of fun with it and we’ve gotten great support from the police. Everyone’s had a really good attitude. It’s great when businesses, law enforcement and the community can get together for a wonderful cause like this.”

Duemmell was joined by three Marysville Police officers and two department clerical personnel. While they didn’t get to serve food or drinks to customers this time around, they still bused tables and showed off a patrol car just outside the front door of the restaurant. Duemmell and Custody Officer Randy Nelson even stood on the sides of 88th Street east of I-5 to try and generate extra donations from passing motorists.

“People have been really kind,” said Nelson, who received approximately $100 from drivers during the first hour of his first Tip-a-Cop. “Some of them actually pulled over to the other side of the road. They didn’t expect me to play ‘Frogger’ to collect their money,” he laughed. “Even the ones who didn’t stop still honked their horns for us. When you deal with the negatives of this job, just a wave and a smile feels so good.”

Duemmell estimated that Marysville Police and Applebee’s waitstaff raised more than $800 by the end of the evening. She noted that waiters and waitresses who collected $250 each received $25 bonuses.

Many of the Marysville Applebee’s patrons had no idea that the restaurant was hosting the Tip-a-Cop until they walked in and saw the uniforms. Camano Island residents Derek and Jen Drysdale’s six sons were excited to speak with a Marysville Police detective.

“The boys are into cops,” Jen Drysdale said. “They liked listening to his walkie-talkie.”

Marysville’s Zaden Vickery beamed as he got to turn on the patrol car’s lights and sirens, as mom Raechelle explained that their family had supported the Tip-a-Cop at the Lakewood Red Robin.

Fellow Marysville parent Randy Gregg is friends with Andrea Hill, one of the clerical personnel at the Marysville Applebee’s that night, but he hadn’t known the event was happening until he saw her there.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” said Gregg, who laughed with his wife as his two boys shied away from Nelson in his uniform.

“I like a man in uniform,” laughed Holly Walker, also of Marysville, who was attending her friend’s birthday dinner.

Duemmell thanked the Marysville Applebee’s staff for taking them in and its patrons for contributing to Special Olympics.

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