Posted December 24
An Omaha detective reached his fundraising goal for the Nebraska Special Olympics. For the second year in a row, Officer Kevin Wiese stood inside a make-shift jail at Village Pointe Shopping Center and asked for bond money.
He started on Friday and reached $5,000 Sunday night. He raised $4,511 during the Cage-A-Cop event and then a generous donor made up the difference and wrote a check for $489 to get to the goal.
The Omaha Police Department on its official Facebook page wrote: "A special thank you to all those who donated. Thank you Officer Wiese for 'freezing for funds' the second year in a row for the Cage A Cop fundraiser. Merry Christmas everyone."
For the second year in a row, he's doing "Cage-A-Cop" at Village Pointe to collect donations for the Special Olympics Nebraska. He's hoping to improve upon last year's $4,300, and raise $5,000 this year in "bond" money. He will be in a cage, under the clock at center court, until he raises that money, or for three days, whichever comes first.
He stood at $4,100 on Sunday evening. His twitter feed said, "$900 to go! Come donate at Village Pointe or online. Thanks."
Wiese first became involved with the Special Olympics five years ago, shortly after joining the Omaha Police Department. He was part of a torch run. "I first started because it was running event for me. Once I was there, I quickly realized it wasn't about the running at all."
He said the parents of one of the athletes opened his eyes. "They told me how much their son had been just changed by the Special Olympics, through the programs, through the special events."
While some think he's crazy for staying outside in the cold, he says it all goes back to the reason he became a police officer, to give back. “It's a great way I can do something and give to the community and often people who have disabilities and stuff, they get neglected a lot, so anything I can do will help.”
Police and the Special Olympics have been partners. "We have officers like Detective Wiese throughout the state work with us," said Nebraska Special Olympics Director of Development Katie Ryan. "And they give their own time to volunteer and raise money. It means a lot to us."
It means even more, considering how cold the temperatures will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with high temperatures only in the 20s. "I have plenty of warm clothes," said Wiese. "I'm thinking about getting a heater. But right now my plan is to just dress warm and hope for the best."
Wiese doesn't plan to stay on-site beyond the shopping center's hours. However, he hasn't ruled out the possibility, if somebody offers him a hefty donation. "I mean, Special Olympics is doing good things and I want to be a part of it."
To follow his progress or to make a donation online, click on the links below the map.