Monroe police officers took turns standing in the bucket of Stepney Volunteer Fire Truck 100 on Friday. The ladder was fully extended into the blue sky overhead, high above the intersection of Main Street and Easton Road. Down below, other officers collected donations for Special Olympics Connecticut on busy Route 25. Drivers who pulled into the shopping center parking lot at 435 Main Street were offered free hot dogs grilled by Mr. Mac's Canteen.
The Cop-On-Top event went on from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and $3,087 was raised for Special Olympics Connecticut athletes being presented by the Monroe Police Department.
David Dennin of Trumbull, a Special Olympian, greeted those who stopped by the grilling station. Dennin competes in weightlifting, golf, floor hockey and track.
Jay Andronaco of Special Olympics Connecticut used a microphone to greet and draw people in to make donations and stop for a free hot dog. The officers used a megaphone from the ladder bucket for the same purpose.
Chris McPadden of Mr. Mac's Canteen, 838 Main Street, donated all the food and used a propane grill donated by Ken Starr of Taylor Rental on Main Street. Toppings for the hot dogs included ketchup, mustard, relish and hot chili.
Police Officer Todd Keeping expressed his gratitude to all involved, including Bernie Sippin, who allowed organizers to use his property; and Stepney Fire Chief Michael Klemish for providing the ladder truck.
Officers who stood in the perch over Main Street included John McAuley, Sgt. Jay Torreso and Kevan Taggart.
Volunteering to collect donations were Sgt. Pete Howard, Officer Jeff Marcel, Officer Matthew Muccioli, Officer Nicole Buckley, Officer Amanda Sears, Officer Omar Wahib, Probationary Officer Brendan Fearon, Trish Toresso and Cailee Dwyer.
Stepney firefighters participating were Alex Puskar, apparatus engineer; Jim Mace and Lt. Andrew Schamalins.
About Special Olympics CT
The mission of Special Olympics Connecticut is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other athletes and the community.
Special Olympics is more than sports. It is a movement that recognizes and respects people of all abilities and entrusts that the human spirit and power of teamwork can enhance the way we all live and interact with each other. In Connecticut, more than 6,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities participate. For information about the Special Olympics, visit www.soct.org.