'Police on the Pantry' raises money for Special Oympics Oregon in one-day fundraiser.

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Hillsboro police officers and cadets raise money on the roof of the Plaid Pantry on TV Highway looking for donations for Special Olympics in Hillsboro.Hillsboro police officers raised more than $2,000 for Special Olympics Oregon last week, and their feet never even touched the ground.

The first-ever "Police on the Pantry" fundraiser Friday, June 1, saw officers across Oregon climb to the roofs of local Plaid Pantry convenience stores in an effort to raise money for Special Olympics Oregon, which serves more than 14,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Perched on top of the store at 5801 S.E. Tualatin Valley Highway, officers lowered buckets to passersby, asking customers at the store to donate a few dollars for a good cause.

"It went really well," said Hillsboro police spokesman Sgt. Eric Bunday. "We were just blown away by how many people stopped by and gave donations."

Hillsboro was one of several police agencies across the state which participated in the inaugural event. Officers in Gresham, Portland, Lake Oswego and Salem also participated in the fundraiser.

"We were all having a good time and raised a fair amount of money for a very good cause," Bunday said.

The fundraiser was meant to be eye catching, Bunday said, grabbing people's attention on their way to and from work.

"Many people were dropping off $20s, $50s, even $100 bills," Bunday said. "It was so humbling, and great to see people being so supportive of Special Olympics."

Joining the officers were Special Olympics Oregon athletes and their families, Bunday said.

"Getting to hear how much this organization has enriched people's lives, it made it so worth it," Bunday said.

Hillsboro police raise money throughout the year for Special Olympics Oregon. In the summer, officers participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, then raise money through its Tip a Cop fundraiser in the fall and polar plunge each winter.

"We have something for every season now," Bunday said. "That's great."

Bunday said he expects the fundraiser to become an annual event for Hillsboro.

"It was a match made in heaven," Bunday said.

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