Badges and Buckets campaign raises funds for Special Olympics Colorado

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If you’ve passed the Dutch Bros. Coffee in Windsor on Thursday and you saw a police presence, don’t worry, it was for a good cause.

The Windsor Police Department has partnered with the popular coffee chain to help raise funds for the Colorado Special Olympics.

Sgt. Robert Shainline and Off. Cory Rusch led the department’s Badges and Buckets campaign, raising money for the association.

“This is the second year that we have been doing this. Cory started this in 2019, ”Shainline said. “We were the first in the state to do this and now there are a bunch of other agencies across the state that have started doing it.”

Thursday’s warm weather was greatly appreciated as the 2019 event took place on one of the coldest days of the year.

“I was bundled up in here trying to stay warm, but it was just freezing cold,” Shainline said with a laugh. “I felt like it had taken me three days to thaw.”

Money raised at the event helps fund the athlete’s uniform, travel, sports, medicals and other costs.

Thursday, Dutch Bros. Coffee in Windsor has partnered with the Windsor Police Department for the Badges and Buckets campaign to raise funds for the Special Olympics. (Tamara Markard / journalist)

In addition to the money collected in the buckets, Dutch Bros. Coffee donated $ 1 for each drink purchased from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“You know, we have to salute the owner and director of Dutch Bros.,” said Rusch. “He is fundraising all the time and wants to give back to the community. We really appreciate his help and support in this regard.

In addition to the Badges and Buckets campaign, Shainline and Rusch volunteer to help organize the annual Polar Plunge which takes place at Boardwalk Park and Windsor Lake. The Polar Plunge also raises funds for the association.

“Seeing the faces of athletes and seeing that they are a part of something bigger than us, and giving athletes the opportunity to participate in the sports they love”, are the two main reasons the department is determined. to help the organization, Rusch explained.

The Special Olympics were founded in 1969 by Eunice Mary Kennedy Shriver when she saw how “people with developmental disabilities were treated unfairly and unfairly”.

6-year-old Anya Wild smiles as she examines one of her ribbons she won in the Special Olympics on May 9 at the District 6 stadium. It was Anya's first time competing in the Special Olympics.
Money raised from the Badges and Buckets campaign Thursday in Windsor will help pay for travel, medicals, uniforms and other costs for athletes competing in the Special Olympics. (Greeley Tribune file photo)

Shriver began offering Camp Shriver events in his own backyard in Maryland. Shriver recruited high school and college students to serve as coaches and counselors for the camps. The first camp attracted 34 athletes and 26 counselors and the number of participants and volunteers has increased every year since.

The association’s mission is to offer people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in team and individual sports. Through these sporting events and opportunities, athletes acquire new skills and strengths, thereby gaining self-confidence.

WINDSOR, CO – MARCH 27: Kipp Powell, left, and Patrick Rosen splash around as they dash into the water alongside Kurt Kandler, not pictured, at the Polar Plunge event to benefit the Olympics at Windsor Lake in Windsor on March 27, 2021. The event raised approximately $ 80,000 for Special Olympics and welcomed over 300 participants this year. (Alex McIntyre / Personal Photographer)

Colorado is one of 52 state chapters with headquarters in Centennial and satellite offices in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, and Fort Collins.

The organization is one of 6% of U.S. nonprofits that do not receive federal or state funding and rely on fundraising events and grants, as well as corporate and individual sponsorships. .

To date, the organization supports more than 15,000 athletes across the United States with 21 different sports to participate in with the help of over 9,000 volunteers. The organization also performs more than 1,800 medical screenings each year across the country.

“We went to the international conference a few years ago and yes the athletes love their medals, but they are just as proud to be able to participate,” said Rusch. “Being there, participating and being all friends is really what it’s all about for them. It’s not just about winning.

For more information on Special Olympics Colorado, or to donate online, visit https://bit.ly/3gYafCu.


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