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'Cop on Top' Raising Money for Special Athletes

Officer Robert Riccobon rises to the occasion to raise money for Connecticut Special Olympics.

For special athletes, Officer Robert Riccobon was a towering figure Thursday at Town Hall.

At 6 a.m., Riccobon boarded a three-story scissors platform with a megaphone and a mission to raise money for the Connecticut Special Olympics.

“We’re rolling along,” Riccobon said shortly before noon. “I think we’re up to about $2,000 on the website and that means we’re going to have a good day.”

The fundraising goal was $5,000, said Riccobon, part-time carnival barker on Thursday and full-time cop assigned to the Community Relations Division.

Donations to Riccobon’s second “Cop on Top” fundraiser for the state’s Special Olympians can be made online. In 2010, Cop on Top raised about $7,500.

“It’s tough times but if we could surpass last year that would be fantastic,” said Riccobon, who was recently named by the American Legion Post 96.

Traffic on South Main Street was funneled past Riccobon’s lofty perch on the front lawn of Town Hall. Volunteers were also accepting donations from motorists and pedestrians.

The fundraiser was co-sponsored by Clear Channel Radio. The weather cooperated with temperatures in the 80s and a clear blue sky. And Riccobon is not expected to descend until 6 p.m.

“It’s warm up here – no doubt, it’s warm,” Riccobon said. “But you know what, it’s the least I can do for these Special Olympics athletes. I’m doing it for one day. They do it all year.”

More than 2,300 athletes, 500 coaches and 2,900 volunteers participated in Connecticut's Summer Special Olympics June 9-12 in New Haven. The Special Olympics World Summer Games will begin June 25 in Athens, Greece.

To make an online donation and to track the fundraising effort, click:  http://soct.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=2520&pg=entry

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