I’ll be your server today
York Region’s staff sergeant waits tables to support Special Olympics
This summer Staff Sgt. Julie Provis was spotted waiting tables in full uniform at the Lone Star Texas Grill in Newmarket for an annual fundraiser called Cops and Cowboys in support of Special Olympics Ontario.
“Helping a group of athletes who are so dedicated to their sport and driven to succeed just makes you feel larger than life,” says Provis, who was recently honoured with the Rob Plunkett Outstanding Service to the Community Award for her ongoing dedication to the community and support of Special Olympics spanning a quarter-century.
With York Regional Police since 1990, Provis began supporting Special Olympics at the urging of mentor and colleague Const. Rob Plunkett, who hosted what was called Cops and Lobsters at Red Lobster starting in the early 1990s.
“It was Rob’s feeling for Special Olympics: when you saw what he did and felt, it made you want to do the same,” the 47-year-old said.
So when the partnership came to an end, Provis persuaded Lone Star to host the annual fundraiser to continue Plunkett’s legacy. Cops and Cowboys has since grown from two locations in York Region to 20 participating locations across the province. This year, over 20 police services spanning from Windsor to Ottawa rolled up their sleeves to raise about $30,000, up from $4,000 in 2012.
“It’s more than just the Games that Special Olympics host every year. It’s their continued effort to be the best that they can be,” Provis said.
“They work just as hard as other athletes, and it’s the one area where they can just be themselves.”
Staff Sgt. Julie Provis