LIHUE — There can be a lot of hardships spending a whole day outside on a roof.
Which is what some Kauai police officers did Thursday in the name of a good cause.
They were outside raising money but exposed under the elements, Lisa Aki, the assistant area director for Special Olympics Kauai, pointed out.
“Either way, they’re going to get wet,” Aki said. “If it rains, they’ll get wet from the rain. If it doesn’t rain, it’s hot and they’ll be perspiring.”
Three Kauai Police Department officers, Lt. Rod Green, Sgt. Michael Nii, and Sgt. Len Nitta, were raised to the top of the roof at the Walmart store Thursday morning as part of the Special Olympics Kauai fundraising campaign goal of raising $25,000.
“I’m hoping we can hit our goal early so the policemen can come down,” Aki said. “Please people, come down and help because it’s not raining, now. Otherwise, they are going to be on the roof until about 3 p.m. Saturday.”
Special Olympics Kauai athletes, including the recent World Games participant Chaunci Cummings, were outside the Walmart store greeting shoppers who were generous in their contributions. One lady in a wheelchair thanked the athletes after depositing her change.
“The athletes are so thrilled with getting any kind of contribution,” Aki said. “It might just be change, but it all adds up.”
The athletes’ efforts were rewarded when Ronald McDonald, the McDonald’s restaurant mascot, made an appearance and distributed stickers to young contributors and joked with all of the shoppers exiting Walmart, adding spice to the athletes’ efforts.
“I heard it was National Cop on Top Day,” McDonald said. “I also heard the Special Olympics athletes were here so I thought I would come by so I can learn more about bowling. Is that the game where you kick the ball? Or is it when you have to shoot the ball at the net? Where is the bowling alley, anyway?”
Special Olympics coach Tamarine Carvalho said they only recently ended their summer program with the Keaukake program where the Kauai soccer team finished with the bronze medal on Oahu, and are now preparing for the fall season and bowling.
“When I say, ‘We took the bronze,’ I mean, we really took the bronze,” Carvalho said. “We lost to a team 9-1 in the game before the seeding, and when we played for the bronze, we faced that same team. We had to really talk to the athletes to not get them down. That must have worked because the game was tied 1-1 until the final 90 seconds when Chad Okino put away the winning goal and we got bronze on the 2-1 win.”
Aki said the Special Olympics team of volunteers, athletes, and the Cops on Top, will be at the Walmart store with a variety of premiums, including special items at the $5, $10, $20, and $25 sections to help the fundraising, during the store’s operating hours.