Grantsville City and Tooele County law enforcement officers put a new meaning to public service Tuesday evening at Casa Del Rey in Grantsville for the annual Tip-a-Cop fundraiser.
From 5 to 9 p.m., Grantsville Police Chief Jacob Enslen, accompanied by Grantsville City police sergeants Lydon Allred, Rhonda Fields, Maxwell Chavez and Tooele County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim White, took to the dining floor of the restaurant. They assumed the regular duties of waiters by delivering orders, cleaning tables and working for tips.
All tips given to the officers throughout the evening will contribute to the Shop-with-a-Cop program, which is a program that pairs an officer with a family in need during the holiday season scheduled for Dec. 14.
“The whole concept behind it is that we’re serving food to the citizens of the community in an effort to raise tips and donations for our Shop-With-a-Cop program,” said Grantsville Police Sgt. Lydon Allred, who runs the program.
“I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now and we’re going strong,” he said. “I love seeing the smile on the parents and the kids faces as we bring out food. It’s pretty exciting for them and I love knowing that the proceeds from this will go on to benefit kids in the community.”
According to Allred, the evening garnered roughly $3,600 in tips. Allred, who runs both programs, said that the fundraiser has been happening in the county for nearly 13 years.
“In the past 10 years, our program has raised at least $100,000 and has helped about 1,000 kids from all over the county,” Allred said.
Casa Del Rey owner Jamie Wilkerson said she loves the sense of community that the fundraiser brings, stating that she started the Tip-a-Cop fundraiser in 2006 at her restaurant with the help of White after getting the idea from a restaurant in Salt Lake Valley that participated in a similar fundraiser.
“Every year, we help out and raise money for anywhere from 100 to 120 kids that would otherwise go without Christmas, so overall, it’s a great program,’” Allred said.
The second Tip-a-Cop event is scheduled to happen at Jim’s Family Restaurant Thursday evening from 6 to 9 p.m.
Local emergency medical service personnel from the Mountain West Ambulance crew are also helping out Shop-with-a-Cop with Tip-a-Medic. Applebee’s in Tooele City hosted a Tip-a-Medic on Nov. 30. The Bonneville Brewery in Tooele will host a Tip-a-Medic on Friday from 5:30 to 9 p.m.