Friday, May 20, 2011 - What a beautiful morning it was! And for the patrons of the Vernon Hills Dunkin' Donuts, it was a little unusual. For five early morning hours, patrons at the Hawthorn Hills Shopping Center were greeted by Vernon Hills Police Officers in order to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics of Illinois (SOIL). Those donating money for the cause received a coupon for a free donut. Those who donated $5 were treated to the sight of a "Munchkin Drop," where our officer "on top" dropped a Munchkin, hopefully into the mouth of a waiting cop on the ground (our average this year was not very good). Those who donated $10 or more received a travel mug and a coupon for free coffee.
Although the event is called "Cops on Top" (ie., the rooftop), we decided to use a bucket truck from our Public Works Department, since the design of the building wouldn't have given us much room to see the patrons from the roof like we planned. Nonetheless, $1,161.30 was raised through people's generous donations. This was up from $825 last year. We were truly amazed at the amount of people willing to donate to this cause.
VHPD personnel on scene for the fund-raiser included Officer Jeff Cielak, Officer Shannon Holubetz, Officer Bob Lonergan, Sgt. Todd Williams, Sgt. Kevin Grampo, Cmdr. Pat Zimmerman, Deputy Chief Jon Petrillo, Officer Sharon Joseph and our police intern, Mark Wachta, as well as Police Explorers Paul Davies and Ben Shulman. A special thanks goes out to Matt Bartlett of PW and of course, Dunkin Donuts. See the below pictures for the day's highlights.
The program is the second out of three main efforts by the Department to raise money for the SOIL. On February 27, 2011, seven officers (and two of their kids) jumped into the icy cold waters of Lake Michigan as part of the Polar Plunge, where over $3,100 in donations were collected. The third event will take place on June 5th, when officers will run a three-mile leg through Vernon Hills in the Torch Run for the Special Olympics.
For more information regarding the Department's SOIL efforts, or to make a donation, contact Sgt. Jim Levicki at 847-362-4434.