Holiday season is time for the annual and highly successful Lincoln County Tip-A-Cop program, sponsored by the Lincoln County Law Enforcement Agency.
County Sheriff Kerry Lee reported the first dinner was held Friday, Nov. 15 at the Knotty Pine Casino and Restaurant in Caliente from 5 to 9 p.m.
Off duty, but still in uniform, deputies and Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers, donate their time to come in, take the orders and serve the tables.
“We had a really good turnout, the place was packed,” Lee said. “There was a waiting list for tables. In fact, some people didn’t even wait, just put in their donation and left.”
Bud Sanders, owner of the Knotty Pine Restaurant and Casino said, “We ran out of specials in the first hour.”
The special was barbequed ribs.
Lincoln County Search and Rescue, he said, instead of having their Christmas dinner, voted to donate $500 to the Shop-With-A-Cop program, of which Tip-A-Cop is the funding raising arm.
Lee said a dinner is also hoped to be held in Alamo, but that may not work out, and another one possibly at the Silver Café in Pioche in early December.
The Shop-With-A-Cop program takes a group of select underprivileged youth from the county, on a shopping trip Dec. 14 to Wal-Mart in Cedar City. The kids are paired with an officer and have a given amount they can spend. But Lee says often times the kids spend over the amount given, “so the officer usually makes up the difference.”
Packages are even wrapped by the volunteer groups from Cedar City, and the kids that want to, can have their picture taken with Santa.
After the shopping spree, the whole group goes out for lunch in Cedar City before heading back to Panaca.
Lee said he could not even begin to name all the people who gave donations of various sizes during the evening, even a few $100 bills.
“It’s incredible,” he noted, “that people put their differences aside, and do something for the betterment of the kids. It has always been a very positive program for the kids, and some of their parents, too, to interact so well with the officers. Everyone gets to know one another.”
Lee said Sanders made a donation, as well as providing the location for the dinner, and the employees all donated their tips of the day.
Sanders said last year, the event broke a record raising more than $3,000. Although an exact amount was not certain, he said they beat it again this year, leaving Sanders wondering, “how we’re going to beat it next year.”
Sanders said, “It’s amazing how the community comes out and helps kids.”