Community Involvement, Inside CDCR Video

California Medical Facility volunteers serve up Special Olympics support

Video by Clarissa Resultan, TV Specialist
Office of Public and Employee Communications

Community service is a CDCR tradition, and when it comes to Special Olympics, employees statewide think outside the box to raise funds, from jumping in freezing-cold lakes as part of the Polar Plunge to running long, hot miles in the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Another Special Olympics fundraiser embraced statewide is the Tip-A-Cop, in which sworn and non-sworn staff assist restaurant employees in waiting tables, taking the opportunity to share information about Special Olympics with diners. While the wait staff still receive their tips, CDCR staff ask guests to consider donating to the cause.

The team at California Medical Facility partnered with Perko’s Cafe in Rancho Cordova, where they spent the day spreading awareness of, and raising money for, Special Olympics Northern California (SONC). As an added bonus, knowing a large CDCR training was taking place nearby, the team assembled to-go lunches so the trainees could also chip in.

Last year, CDCR raised $203,000 for SONC, and $204,000 for Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC). Learn more about SONC and SOSC.

Watch Fox 40’s coverage of the Tip-A-Cop fundraiser here.

The video is also available on YouTube.

Read more stories about CDCR’s community involvement.

(Editor’s note: Some websites may not be accessible on a CDCR computer.)

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Amanda Schoennauer

My name is Amanda Schoennauer; I’m the General Manager at Perko’s Cafe.

Chance from CDCR reached out to me wanting to do a Tip-A-Cop fundraiser event, and we felt passionate about doing it as well.

We are excited to support this event because not only does it support the community, but it supports Special Olympics, and that is important to us.

I was very excited and it’s been a pleasure working with them, and this event means so much.

Chance Andes

This event raises money to provide resources to the athletes of the Special Olympics.

If you’ve ever been part of anything with the Special Olympics, it’s extremely exciting to watch these athletes and how gratifying it is for them to compete in events.

Our staff, our officers, our sergeants, our correctional staff will work with the waiting staff and interact with the community, talk about the event, talk about the Special Olympics, talk about what the money goes to.

The waiters and waitresses still do their job, they still get their tips, and we just ask the customers to give some consideration and if they want to donate anything extra to this event, to do that.


I’m here to support the Special Olympics by attending the Tip-A-Cop event.

My daughter is a peace officer, so she’s doing her duty, and we’re here to support.

Megan Cherinka

The special athletes of Northern California and around the world, they are adults and children with intellectual disabilities, and this assists them to develop courage, to develop teamwork, and a pride of doing something well in a competitive nature.

The money that we’re raising today actually goes toward assisting the athletes with sports equipment, travel, uniforms, and just getting their best foot forward.

It’s been an extreme blessing because you get to see what courage and just pure joy looks like in the face of an athlete.

They don’t let anything get them down. It’s been awesome.