Cop on Top Special Olympics fundraiser ends today

LIHUE — Kauai Police Department Sgt. Lance Okasaki said Thursday night got a bit nippy after a hot afternoon on the Walmart rooftop.

Okasaki was joined by officer Andrew Muraoka and Sgt. John Mullineaux was raised to the rooftop Thursday morning to launch the Cop on Top fundraiser for the Kauai Special Olympics, sponsored by Ka‘iwa Construction, Kukui‘ula Development and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

The officers are to remain on the roof until 3 p.m. today, or when the goal of $25,000 is met, said Lisa Aki of Kauai Special Olympics.

“Cop on Top is our only major fundraiser for the year,” Aki said. “The Kauai Special Olympics has at least 100 athletes participating since we started the Young Athlete program last year.”

Prior to last year, Kauai Special Olympics was open to people with intellectual disabilities 8 years and older. Last year, Hawaii Special Olympics added the Young Athlete program for athletes 8 and younger.

“Up until the Young Athlete, people below 8 years old could only watch,” said Tamarine Carvalho, a Special Olympics coach. “Now, they can become part of the fun.”

Helping customers with donation selections and manning the fishnets soliciting change and contribution from shoppers, Amara Coon is a Kauai Special Olympics athlete for more than 15 years.

“This is a fun program,” said the athlete who started when she was in high school.

Carvalho has been a Special Olympic coach for 12 years.

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