0

Sheriff's department raising money for Special Olympics

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan  Deputy Sheriff David Vannerson looks on behind the donation bucket for  the 11th annual Special Olympics fundraiser hosted by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department held at the Krispy Kreme by the Mall of Georgia in Buford Friday.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Deputy Sheriff David Vannerson looks on behind the donation bucket for the 11th annual Special Olympics fundraiser hosted by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department held at the Krispy Kreme by the Mall of Georgia in Buford Friday.

photo

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan While standing on the roof Cpl. Chris Fusi waves to motorists passing by on Buford Drive as the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department held its 11th annual Special Olympics fundraiser at the Krispy Kreme by the Mall of Georgia in Buford Friday. The department accompanied by the GCSD Explorers will be raising funds at the Krispy Kreme from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday.

photo

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department Explorers Jonathan Woods, 17, Philip Thornhill, 17, Nick Anderson, 17, Andrew Warner, 15, and Nathan Johnstone, 15, count the donations made during the 11th annual Special Olympics fundraiser at the Krispy Kreme by the Mall of Georgia in Buford Friday.

BUFORD -- The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department will be posted at the Mall of Georgia Krispy Kreme all weekend, raising money for the Special Olympics -- if not dispelling all those stereotypes about law enforcement and doughnuts.

Sheriff's deputies and other volunteers reported to the Krispy Kreme at 3387 Buford Drive at 6 a.m. Friday and will be there -- excluding the midnight to 6 a.m. window when the store's doors are closed both nights -- non-stop until 6 p.m. Sunday. By selling T-shirts, hats, lanyards and patches, as well as accepting straight up donations, the department is collecting funds for Special Olympics Georgia for the 11th straight year.

Deputy Batinna Thornhill said Friday that the turnout was already looking "great." The fundraiser brought in about $8,000 last year, good enough for No. 5 in the state.

"Once you go to the games, once you go and see the athletes, if you don't get bit you don't have a heart," said Thornhill, who is also on the Special Olympics' executive council.

With events year around, the Special Olympics had its big kickoff for the year on May 17. Georgia has more than 23,000 athletes that participate, ranking it in the top five nationally.

For more than a decade, the Gwinnett sheriff's department has done its part to help enable those athletes to compete.

"Those kids are awesome," Thornhill said. "It's breathtaking, it really is."

Krispy Kreme is also offering some incentive during this weekend's fundraiser. Those who make donations of $5 to $20 will receive a free doughnut coupon; $21 to $50 donations will get a free dozen doughnuts; $51 to $200 will get a free dozen doughnuts and a T-shirt or hat; and a donation of $200-plus will warrant a free dozen doughnuts every month for a year, as well as a T-shirt or hat.

A donation of more than $1,000 would make you eligible for up to 50 dozen doughnuts.