On April 9, Berwyn Chief of Police Jim Ritz and Special Olympics Illinois athlete and Global Messenger Jose Moreno Jr. met at the Dunkin’ Donuts at Cermak Road and East Avenue in Berwyn to share their fondness for Special Olympics and the Cop on a Rooftop fundraiser in front of the cameras as a crew from Dunkin’ Donuts filmed a public service announcement.
The two were pleased to meet up again. They had met last year at Summer Games and again earlier this year at a sponsorship visit in Chicago. “I was so excited to see him again,” said Jose. “He made me feel really comfortable, we joked around and talked about everything – sports and Summer Games.”
Jose has been supporting Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the Cop on a Rooftop event for years. “I usually visit the locations near me – Bensenville, Addison and Elmhurst – and tell the officers who I am and that I appreciate their support of us athletes,” he said.
He takes a great deal of pride in being able to thank the members of law enforcement. “They do it for us (athletes). Not many athletes thank them aside from Summer Games, so I make sure to do it at this event,” said Jose.
Ritz, who’s been Chief of Berwyn Police Department for 5 years, said his department started a Special Olympics committee three years ago and they began participating in the Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on a Rooftop event that year. Last year, the department raised $5,400 at their local Dunkin’ location. “Our community has been very supportive of our efforts to raise money for Special Olympics,” he said.
Ritz says events like Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on a Rooftop are important because they “give the athletes the opportunity to compete.” But it’s not just about the money, he says. “Special Olympics Summer Games is one of the most wonderful events I’ve ever attended. Just knowing that you’re helping those who need help and seeing their smiles, that’s what it’s all about.”
Join Jim Ritz, Jose Moreno and all the law enforcement officers and athletes around the state on May 29 at a Dunkin’ Donuts near you. See list of locations here.
By Michele Evans, Director of Communications