Richfield Police Department raises more than $10,300 in support of Special Olympics
The road to Special Olympics Minnesota’s Summer Games involves a lot of hard work and training for participating athletes. Many people support them along the way, including the Richfield Police Department.
In the run-up to the games, the department held four events including two Tip-A-Cop events, a Polar Plunge and a Torch Run, as well as selling apparel, to raise money for the Special Olympics, which to date has netted $10,300.
The Richfield Police Department’s Special Olympics coordinator, officer Miranda Soldow, credits the overall success of the fundraising efforts to the willingness of the department’s officers to contribute both time and money, being able to put a face to the cause and a very supportive command staff.
“As a department, we have supported numerous charitable causes throughout the years, but I have to say that the Special Olympics is probably our favorite. Our officers are extremely passionate about supporting the Special Olympics,” explained Police Chief Jay Henthorne.
The support for the Special Olympics went well beyond the officers in the department. Numerous members of the community participated in events, as well as other city staff. The Richfield City Council also promoted and lent words of support for the police’s efforts at council meetings and in the community.
Officers Miranda Soldow and Hailey Quanbeck got to see the fruition of the department’s efforts firsthand when they attended the opening ceremony of the Minnesota Special Olympics Summer Games.
“The slogan for the Special Olympics is ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,’ which is spot on when you see how supportive and inclusive the event was,” remembered officer Soldow. “My ‘hug-meter’ was through the roof and my hand was a little sore from all the high fives I received from the athletes I met at the games.”
Throughout the fundraiser more than just money was raised to support the Special Olympics, lasting friendships were forged.
“I have made so many new friends through the department’s work with the Special Olympics,” said Soldow. “One of the athletes I got to know, Dave, texts me on a regular basis. He is one of the most thankful and kind people I have ever met.”
Even though the Minnesota Special Olympics Summer Games have concluded, the department still believes that they can raise a little more money to support these outstanding competitors. The department is planning to participate in a plane pull sometime in September, which would pit eight Richfield police officers against a Delta Airlines plane to see how far they can pull it.