For the past 23 years, Peterborough Police have set up toll booths at the entrances to several shopping centres on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Staffed by uniformed officers, Fleming College Police Foundations students and other volunteers, the voluntary tolls received from motorists go toward Special Olympics projects. This year, the money will support the Provincial School Championships, which are being held in Peterborough in May.
“People know that we’re out there. They’re very generous, very supportive, as Peterborough always is for a lot of charities, and every year our totals just keep going up and up,” said Auxiliary Policing Unit Staff Sgt. Andrew Burdette.
Last year, the voluntary toll brought in over $30,000 to support Special Olympics programs. Fundraising chair Rebecca Keeling and her family were manning the toll position at Canadian Tire.
Her eldest son, Jacob, is a Special Olympian and she says she has seen a huge change in him since he began taking part in the program
“He’s very introverted, very shy and quiet, and since he’s joined up with Special Olympics he’s been more willing to go to places, to take part in different events,” Keeling said. “Like the fact he’s out here volunteering for the Special Olympics volunteer toll; he wouldn’t have done that before.”
The Special Olympics Provincial School Championships will take place at several venues around Peterborough from May 29 to 31.
The Peterborough Police Auxiliary Unit announced on Tuesday that the five locations helped raise $37,241.
“On behalf of Constable Cam Kenny, Peterborough Police Service Torch Run Team Coordinator, I wanted to send a huge thank-you to everyone who came out and helped this past Saturday with our annual Easter Tolls,” said Aux. Staff Sgt. Andrew Burdett.
“We could not have done this without your help. Thank-you to all our volunteers, business property owners, Police senior administration and the public.”