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Cops change jobs for Camp Cadet

Cops change jobs for Camp Cadet

Rick Dandes2/22/2017

LEWISBURG — State police officers traded in their uniforms and prowl vehicles for trays and aprons Wednesday night at one of their largest fundraisers for Camp Cadet, a summer camp for boys and girls staffed by troopers, local police officers and other volunteers.

Anita Powell, general manager of Applebee's, in Lewisburg, came up with the idea 11 years ago, and forged a relationship with the Milton station of Troop F, Pennsylvania State Police. "We've raised $80,000 in that time," she said. 

Last year the fundraiser took in $5,700, said co-organizer Trooper Rick Blair of the Milton barracks. Blair and Powell worked together supervising about 25 troopers as they served customers. All the tips collected from 5-to-9 p.m. were for Camp Cadet, Blair said.

"We are acting like we know what we're doing," Blair added with a smile. The police volunteers at the fundraiser were from the Milton, Stonington and Selinsgrove barracks. 

The regular waitress staff were paid their regular wage, "but essentially volunteered to help out the officers, taught them the ropes so to speak," Powell said.

Not all of the troopers were inexperienced restaurant workers. 

Trooper Tyler Watson, of the Stonington barracks, admitted he was a waiter at the Country Cupboard restaurant for eight years. "Oh yeah, I know how to do this; it brings back memories." Watson has been a state trooper for three years.

"I wanted to be a part of this because Camp Cadet is such a good program for kids," Watson said.

Hundreds of customers came just to donate to the fundraiser, Powell said. "The community is incredibly involved. We see a lot of the same people every year. We'll be packed for four hours."

Shirley and Ted Menges, of Watsontown, have attended every Camp Cadet fundraiser, they said. "They're all my boys," Shirley said. She mentioned trooper Tyler Watson in particular, one of her former elementary school students.

Michael Terrell, of Lewisburg, and his friend Joan Warren, also were there to support a good cause. They each were eating hamburgers, but their tip was $20 each., Applebee's also kicked in coupons to everyone of its customers who gave tips.

"Tonight is a win-win for everyone," Powell said.

Final fundraising figures were unavailable at press time.

Send comments to Follow Dandes on Twitter @rdandes.



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