When Mary Anne Glowacz was contacted about appearing in a public service announcement for the upcoming Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on a Rooftop events, she had only one request – she’d do it as long as her friend Ela Stoklosa could do it with her.
Glowacz, Communications Director for the Deerfield Police Department, and Ela, a Special Olympics athlete and Global Messenger, have been friends for years. “I called Ela’s mom to see if they’d be interested and they were so excited!”
So, together they poured out their love for Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the cameras on April 2 at the Dunkin’ location at 499 Lake Cook Road in Deerfield, where Glowacz will again be raising money for Special Olympics athletes on May 29.
“The Cop on a Rooftop event is a lot of fun. It let us (law enforcement) make fun of ourselves,” said Glowacz, referring to the long-held assumption that officers eat a lot of donuts.
Glowacz has been involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for about 8 years, when she took over the LETR position for her department.
That first year, they were asked to participate in Cop on a Rooftop event and she admits “I was terrified – would it be a success?” But, she found “it’s the easiest thing to get folks involved in!” Now, each year her department tries to outdo itself by increasing the amount raised.
Four years ago when the department first raised enough money to qualify to be on the back of the LETR T-shirts, Glowacz asked for a Special Olympics Global Messenger to come present a plaque to the mayor and board. That’s when she first met Ela and became “thick as thieves with her family.”
Through the years, Glowacz and the dispatchers at her department have become good friends with Ela and her family. “Her parents and siblings come with Ela to help out at many of our fundraisers,” Glowacz said.
Although Ela was nervous about the Dunkin’ Donuts shoot, “it was unbelievable how heartfelt she is about Special Olympics,” said Glowacz. “She’s so genuine about everything – the athletes and the opportunities that Special Olympics offers them.”
Relationships with Ela and her fellow athletes are what inspires Glowacz to continue raising money for Special Olympics through fundraisers like Cop on a Rooftop. “Special Olympics is the best. It allows us to be our best selves for the right reasons,” Glowacz said. “If we could translate that spirit to everything we do, it would be a better world.”
Join Mary Ann Glowacz, Ela Stoklosa 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