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Local law enforcement serve food to support Special Olympics

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Marshall County and Marshalltown law enforcement were in full force at the local Culver’s Restaurant Tuesday night as part of “Butter Burgers and Badges” program to raise money for Special Olympics. Here, Sgt. Ben Veren of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office delivers an order to from left, Cindy Hanken of Marshalltown, retired Marshalltown Police Department Capt. Mike Hanken and guest.

Plenty of smiles and good-natured joking were exchanged between Marshall County Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Ben Veren and retired Marshalltown Police Department Capt. Mike Hanken at Culver’s restaurant Tuesday as the deputy sergeant served the order.

And no, Ben Veren, nor spouse Marshalltown Police Department Sgt. Casee Veren, are working second jobs. But the Verens, in tandem with other Sheriff’s Office, MPD, worked for tips and bussed tables from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to benefit Special Olympics Iowa.

And the local Culver’s donated $1 from every concrete mixer ice cream treat sold Tuesday night to the cause.

“Thanks to awesome community and Culver’s support, $1,045 was raised,” Ben Veren said.

On hand to greet and meet customers were Special Olympics athletes proudly wearing medals.

They served and bussed tables too.

The good-natured camaraderie between Ben Veren and Hanken was repeated across the state Tuesday night, as law enforcement personnel and Culver’s restaurants participated from Dubuque to Ames to Council Bluff in “Butter Burgers and Badges.”

“This was the second year we have partnered with law enforcement and Culver’s restaurants,” Special Olympics of Iowa Marketing and Communication Coordinator Karen Whitnan said. “Numerous reports indicated events at other locations were successful. The fundraising at Culver’s continues through July 31, as canisters for donations will be out.”

One of the dozens who ate at the local Culver’s was Marshalltown Parks and Recreation Supervisor Jenny Hart.

“Fundraisers are important to the Special Olympics Iowa mission,” Hart said. “They underwrite expenses in allowing more than 14,000 athletes statewide to participate. Since local athletes have gone onto state and international competition, the fundraisers help pay for those expenses too.”

Special Olympics Iowa is a not-for-profit organization offering training and competition in numerous sports for hundreds of athletes with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support. Through programs like Unified Sports, Young Athletes Play Days, Healthy Athletes and Athlete Leadership, Special Olympics Iowa provides athletes with education and experiences that build up their confidence and self-esteem.

For more information about Special Olympics Iowa, contact 515-986-5520, or visit soiowa.org.

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Contact Mike Donahey at

641-753-6611 or

mdonahey@timesrepublcian.com