The O’Fallon Texas Roadhouse fundraiser benefiting the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics was one for the record books, according to O’Fallon police officer Brian Gimpel.
With over 800 “free” lunches served, tips left for the officers serving the lunches raised over $13,250, surpassing the goal of $10,000, Gimpel said.
“This is remarkable considering we generally serve 500-600 lunches and raise $8,500. The list is long for those to thank,” Gimpel said.
Sporting smiles and words of thanks, Special Olympics athletes Tony Hill and Tony Nihells greeted incoming diners.
“We’ve been helping with this fundraiser for years, and we are so grateful that they do this, so we want people to see that,” Hill said.
After finishing second in the state for many years, OPD took over the No. 1 spot with this year’s fundraising total. Tinley Park was second with $9,100 raised.
Ending up in first place was nice, but Gimpel said making a difference for the athletes of Special Olympics was what was really important.
“Either way, we far surpassed our goal of $10,000 due to the great turnout from the community,” Gimpel said.
Texas Roadhouse is located at 1412 Central Park Circle, near the Shiloh-O’Fallon, IL. border, and has participated in the event for about eight years.