Special Olympicsfund-raisers receiveawards, recognition

Rocky Thompson

University police and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity received recognition Tuesday for their fund raising and volunteer service for Special Olympics Minnesota.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon raised more than $16,000 last year for Special Olympics during its “Jail ‘n’ Bail” fund-raiser, said Mary Kay Hokanson, Special Olympics Minnesota development director.

This will be the fraternity’s ninth year running the fund-raiser, which was first used on campus and then adapted across the country, said Roberta Blomster, Special Olympics global messenger. In the past eight years, she said, the fraternity has raised more than $90,000 and this year anticipates breaking the $100,000 mark.

Blomster has been involved with the Special Olympics since 1993, first as an athlete and later as a representative.

“Special Olympics is a great organization to bring individuals with mental retardation from around the world out of their homes and into their communities,” she said.

Rodney Seurer, an officer at the Savage Police Department and Special Olympics Torch Run director, presented plaques to University police and Sigma Alpha Epsilon members.

University students Aaron Hertzberg and Jered Newell accepted the recognition on behalf of their fraternity. The two are co-chairs for the “Jail ‘n’ Bail” fund-raiser the fraternity will run this April.

“We hope to continue the tradition people before us set and hopefully be more successful,” Newell said.

Officer Marianne Scheel and Capt. Steve Johnson accepted the award for the University police.

“It’s a fun event,” Scheel said. “I always love working the ‘Jail ‘n’ Bail.’ “

University police also participate in the Special Olympics Torch Run between Moorhead, Minn., and Minneapolis. In the past couple of years, Scheel said, University police have carried the torch to Bierman Field on the last leg of its journey.

Police from the Torch Run participate in fund-raisers for the Special Olympics across Minnesota, including “Jail ‘n’ Bail,” polar bear plunges, car washes and “Cops and Lobster,” where police wait tables and give their tips to the Special Olympics, Seurer said.

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