Free Our Finest hopes to raise $20,000 to support athletes training for Special Olympics

Law enforcement officers in the Red Deer area will once again demonstrate their dedication to Special Olympics by hoisting members atop scaffolding outside Walmart at Parkland Mall.

Law enforcement officers in the Red Deer area will once again demonstrate their dedication to Special Olympics by hoisting members atop scaffolding outside Walmart at Parkland Mall.

Three officers will camp on scaffolding about five metres high, located to the left of the Walmart entrance, from 9 a.m. on Friday to 4 p.m. on Sunday for Free Our Finest fundraising event.

Participating agencies include RCMP, Alberta Corrections and Alberta Sheriffs.

Committee member Brad Cotmen said the goal this year is to raise $20,000 and that money will stay in the Red Deer area to assist local athletes.

“It’s an extremely worthwhile event. All proceeds go to support Special Olympics for their training, their coaches, attending different events,” Cotmen said.

People can get their pictures taken with an old West-style prison trailer and other law enforcement vehicles, view demonstrations and take part in water fights, attend a barbecue lunch, buy merchandise, and make donations.

They can also talk with athletes about their experiences at Special Olympics and meet law enforcement officers. Officers will have a loud speaker and microphone so they can talk to people on the ground.

“Everyone wants to come over to find out what all the scaffolding is about.”

Cotmen said the state of the economy may affect the amount of money raised, but another objective of the event is to raise awareness and Parkland Mall is good location to connect with the public.

“We’d love to have as many people as possible participate in our events.”

Last year Free Our Finest raised about $24,000.

He said a Polar Plunge may also be organized for the winter.

“We’ll get a bunch of officers in uniforms and they will all jump into freezing cold water. It should be a good time,” Cotmen laughed.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com