By DENISE A. RAYMO
---- — MALONE — If you think cops will do anything for a doughnut, you may be right.
Uniformed officers from several local agencies climbed onto the roof of the Dunkin Donuts shops in Malone, Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh on Monday to raise money for Special Olympics.
And everyone who donated received a coupon for a free doughnut.
Some commuters approaching the Malone Mountain Mart, which houses Dunkin Donuts on Route 11, might have thought it was a crime scene when they saw a trooper on the sidewalk in front of the store and a line of local police and federal officers on the roof. It was a menacing sight until you saw the wide smiles and heard the laughter.
A small table nearby, stacked with green and orange T-shirts, explained that instead of a crime in progress, it was the area’s first Cops on Top fundraiser. The shirts were being given away in exchange for a $20 donation to the cause.
Some of the Special Olympians were there to help by holding signs to encourage donations and greet donors as they passed in and out of the store.
Scott Smith of Scott Smith’s Towing did his part, picking out an orange T-shirt and shouting up to Malone Police Chief Chris Premo and Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill.
“Don’t jump! It’s not worth it!” he laughed.
“I’m here to help support the community,” Smith said. “This is a great cause, and it’s great to see these special people in the community all the time.
“We have North Star (Behavioral Services) right here, and they work with the people, and they are all strong workers,” he said.
“What people don’t realize is that the people with Down syndrome didn’t choose to have it, but they’re happy. Have you ever seen a person with Down that was unhappy? They love life the way it is.”
Smith said he is impressed with the spirit that surrounds Special Olympics.
“As a parent with kids involved in sports, when you see these athletes compete, they are so excited,” he said. “They love it.”
Martha Bowen, who is in charge of Area 27 of the organization, said about 300 athletes from Franklin and St. Lawrence counties compete in the Special Olympics in events such as softball skills, soccer and track and field.
Upcoming events and fundraisers in Malone include soccer and softball skills games on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Recreation Park; bocci and golf matches on Saturday, Sept. 21, on Creighton Road; and bowling tournaments in October and November.
Others regional activities include the St. Lawrence Polar Plunge on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the New York Power Authority’s Hawkins Point Visitors Center in Massena and the Polar Plunge on Saturday, Nov. 13, at the City Beach in Plattsburgh.
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HOW TO HELP
For information on any Special Olympics events or to donate, contact Erin McCartan, development specialist with Special Olympics New York Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org or 388-0790, Ext. 107.