TODAY: Cops on the Coop back raising money for Special Olympic athletes

Photo: Special Olympics provided

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry fundraiser geared towards raising money for over 30,000 Special Olympic Athletes returns Friday.

Officers from across the Lowcountry will be at many Chick-fil-A locations from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday in an effort to raise funds for the South Carolina Special Olympics.

The Special Olympics provides year-round sports and athletic training to individuals with intellectual disabilities. They train across the state and compete for two games in South Carolina, one in the Fall and one in the Summer, preparing for National games and International games just like the Olympics.

“It’s a way to spread the inclusivity,” Mount Pleasant Police Lt. Don Calabrese says. “Their goal is inclusion, so these special Olympic athletes are just like everybody else and they have so much to offer it’s amazing being around them and seeing what they can do and we’re happy just to be a part of it.”

Several law enforcement partners will be at various Chick-fil-A locations throughout Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties, all coming together to raise money. The first Special Olympics took place in Conway and Lexington in 2013. Mount Pleasant has been involved in the fundraising event since 2016 along with other partners.

Calabrese says since 2013, they’ve raised over $200,000 and the goal this year is to raise $60,000. Officers will be spread out throughout the drive-thrus, parking lots and Chick-fil-A dining rooms raising money and awareness for the Special Olympics. For a $20 donation, you’ll receive a Chick-fil-A gift card and a Special Olympics hat or T-shirt. However, they are accepting donations in any amount.

“Chick-fil-A’s been really good to let us come and use their facilities and locations to let us come and fundraise and we couldn’t do it without them or without the support of our community,” Calabrese says. “So we’re really excited, we definitely think that we can do it and we appreciate anybody who can spread the word and get that message out it’s really important to us— we’re really appreciative of it.”

If you can’t make it to Chick-fil-A Friday, you can reach out to your local law enforcement agency to donate.

A list of all participating Chick-fil-A locations can be found below:

Photo: Special Olympics provided

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