Cops atop Walmart for Special Olympics

Published 3:50 pm Friday, April 24, 2009

Four Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies will braved boredom and 90-degree weather this weekend to raise money for Special Olympics athletes from Shelby County.

Nathan Kendrick, Shelby O’Connor, David Black and James Sellers stayed on top of the Greystone Walmart until midnight Saturday, dancing, singing and bringing awareness to their cause as part of the Cops on Top program.

“Doesn’t everybody want to spend 40 hours on the roof of Walmart?” O’Connor asked, smiling.

However, the cops’ singing voices may not be up to par, said School Resource Officer Rachel Ivey, who was walking around the parking lot with a “Look Up” sign.

“We had one lady donate money to have them sing ‘Rocky Top,’” she said. “They didn’t do very well, so I suggested she donate money to get them to stop.”

Walmart customers Cy and Linda Fulton of Shelby, who stopped by the Cops on Top booth and bought T-shirts, said their experience in the education field led them to support the Special Olympics.

“The children in school love the Special Olympics. It builds confidence,” Linda Fulton said.

Ivey said the Sheriff’s Office hopes to raise $11,000 this weekend. At 2:30 they were off to a good start, having already raised more than $2,000. They expected Saturday to be the big fund-raising day, she said.

Right before Connor launched into a spoken-word rendition of Abba’s “Dancing Queen,” she said she was happy to take part in the fundraiser to bring money to Shelby County’s Special Olympics athletes.

“The really good thing about Special Olympics, and the reason I got involved with it, is that the money we raise goes directly to the athletes,” she said. “The money we raise will go directly to help our Shelby County athletes compete.”

One Special Olympian, Wendi Ray, was at the Walmart entrance to help collect coins. Ray, who competes in bowling, said she was having a great time helping raise money.

“I’m looking forward to the torch run,” she said, shading her eyes.

The torch run May 14-15, which marks the beginning of the Alabama Special Olympics, will make its way through Shelby County.

For more information on the Special Olympics or the Cops on Top program, check