Cop on Top Special Olympics fundraiser continues today

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Shoppers to the Walmart store in Lihue are greeted by Kauai Police Department and Kauai Fire Department personnel on the roof and a Special Olympics tent on the right Thursday during the opening of the Cop on Top fundraiser for Special Olympics.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Jocelyn Barriga, the Kauai Special Olympics coordinator, left, and Lisa Aki help a customer with Cop on Top gear, which helps the fundraising effort, Thursday at the Walmart store in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kauai Special Olympic athlete Kobe Iglesia, right, a medal-winner at the national games, accepts a contribution from a shopper Thursday during the Cop on Top fundraiser for Special Olympics at the Walmart store in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kauai Police Department Sgt. Clyde Caires uses a bucket to haul up lunch for the KPD officers and Kauai Fire Department personnel participating in the Cop on Top fundraiser for Special Olympics Thursday at the Walmart store in Lihue.

LIHUE — Lunch went up by a Walmart bucket suspended on a rope Thursday to the three Kauai Police Department officers and two Kauai Fire Department personnel atop the roof of the Walmart store.

“You have to do a lot of climbing,” said Jocelyn Barriga, Kauai Special Olympics coordinator, who got lunch for the officers. “Where is Larry Rivera? Can you climb that far?”

Rivera had spotted the men on the rooftop when he arrived for shopping, and after discovering why they were up there, wanted to do some entertainment for the officers.

The five officers — KPD Sgts. Clyde Caires, John Mullineux and Lance Okasaki, and KFD’s Jason Poloa and Abraham Moore — were lifted to the rooftop at 6 a.m. for the annual Cop on Top fundraiser for Special Olympics. They will remain at their post until at least this afternoon.

“The three officers will brave all the rain, wind and sun for three whole days and two nights,” Barriga said. “The officers will not rest until they raise the $25,000 needed by Special Olympics Kauai athletes.”

Joining the officers, volunteers including members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association joined Special Olympics Kauai athletes, coaches and coordinators in manning a special fundraising tent that offers enhancements and premiums for contributing.

“We welcome and look forward to one and all assisting our cause by contributing donations during this event,” Barriga said. “Special Olymics T-shirts and other incentives will be available.”

Although the officers will remain at their post for the duration of Cop on Top, Barriga said the tent will close when Walmart shuts its doors.

“The tent opens at 6 a.m. and someone is available until 11 p.m.,” she said. “We’ll be here until Saturday afternoon.”

Also helping with the effort, Special Olympics Kauai athlete Kobe Iglesia, a member of the four-member Hawaii state team to the national games for track and field, was busy soliciting donations from walk-in shoppers and interrupting his routine to do curbside collection from drive-by contributors.

Over the past 40 years, Special Olympics has grown from a modest program serving local athletes to become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sports.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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