Cops to serve chips for tips 

Enjoy some chips and salsa — and help the Special Olympics.

Members of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department will be your waiters for one night this month as they try to raise money for this summer’s Special Olympics.

From 5 to 9 p.m. May 13, patrons of the Chevy’s Fresh Mexican Restaurant in Redwood City can participate in Tip a Cop, where members of the Sheriff’s Department will team up with a server to bring chips, salsa and beverages and even bus tables.

Deputy Todd Finato said he has been organizing Tip a Cop for 10 years and finds the interaction with the community and the ability to give to the Special Olympics rewarding.

"I absolutely enjoy it," he said. "Anything we raise is more than they started with."

Tip a Cop has been in existence for more than a decade in San Mateo County, Finato said.

The fundraising efforts have collected as much as $3,000 for the Special Olympics. Last month, Finato said, San Mateo County collected $700 worth of tips.

All tips will benefit the Special Olympics. Deputies will also hand out awards after the event.

This year’s Special Olympics, which provides mentally and physically challenged children and adults with an outlet of sports activities to promote positive self-esteem, will be held June 26-28 in Berkeley.

Finato said the Tip a Cop fundraiser moves to different locations throughout the county to give deputies a chance to interact with different parts of the county.

Hoss Pahlavanian, general manager of the Chevy’s restaurant in Redwood City, said this is the second time the deputies have served chips and drinks to patrons his restaurant.

"They just want to be a part of the serving," he said with a laugh. "It’s something they can do without needing training and they get to go around and talk to many people."

Pahlavanian said he is happy to offer the restaurant to the deputies for this event. He also offers any service member a 50 percent discount when they come to the restaurant.

"They work hard they are very deserving," he said. "I’m happy to help."

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