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Local police will write checks instead of tickets at Applebee’s locations

BLASDELL — Instead of reading Miranda rights, local law enforcement officials will be reciting dinner specials. “Law and Orders” night will be taking place from 5 – 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 at Applebee’s restaurants across Western New York, to help raise funds for Special Olympics New York.

There are 11 local locations participating, making a total of 60 across New York state. The Applebee’s at 4405 Milestrip Road in Blasdell will be participating, in addition to one at 2656 Delaware Ave. in the city of Buffalo.

“Typically, law enforcement officers from the Hamburg Police Department, Blasdell Police Department, Lackawanna Police Department and the New York State Troopers participate in the Blasdell ‘Law and Orders’ events,” said Latrese Myers, account executive for Eric Mower and Associates, the public relations agency that represents Applebee’s.

Officers will be teaming up with Applebee’s staff to help serve customers and bus tables. They will donate their tip money to the Special Olympics, specifically athletes in the WNY region, and also the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The Torch Run is a year-round fundraising campaign run by law enforcement agencies and developed to help benefit the Special Olympics. Officers will carry the “Flame of Hope” through their hometown streets, delivering the beacon to local, statewide and national games.

The scale of the Olympics, which runs year-round, is reflected through its numbers. Approximately 60,000 athletes train and compete in 22 winter and summer Olympic-type sports.

Since the first event in 2008, the Blasdell restaurant has raised $6,2000. Last year, Applebee’s restaurants raised more than $39,000 for the cause. The Law Enforcement Torch Run program raised more than $1 million, statewide.

The event at Applebee’s is one of many police-themed service events under the LETR. Events have been held at other restaurants, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Joe’s Crab Shack and Red Robin.

“Our family members all go,” said Lt. Jim Koch of the Hamburg Town Police Department. The Hamburg police have been involved with the Special Olympics for the past six years. “I love it,” he added. “It’s a riot.” There is usually a special Olympic athlete on site during the event as well, Koch said.

Participating locations include Amherst: 1641 Niagara Falls Blvd., Buffalo: 2656 Delaware Ave., Dunkirk: 3908 Vineyard Drive, Blasdell: 4405 Milestrip Road, Lakewood: 340 East Fairmount Ave., Depew: 4967 Transit Road, Lockport: 5822 South Transit Road, Niagara Falls: 1608 Military Road, Olean: 3067 West State St., Williamsville: 7107 Transit Road and West Seneca: 1050 Union Road.

For more information, call the participating Applebee’s location. To learn more about the LETR, visit www.nyso.org/LETR/whoarethey.php.
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