Ithaca, NY (WENY) – Law enforcement in Tompkins County brought a new meaning to "Law and Order" Thursday night around dinner time near the Shops at Ithaca Mall. Instead of serving tickets they were serving dinner.

At Applebee's in Ithaca area law enforcement and athletes with the Special Olympics in Tompkins and Cortland County teamed up for the "Law and Order" fundraiser. The "team" bused tables, helped fill orders, but also left donation envelopes on customer's tables. The hope was that customers would fill them with "special tips". All the proceeds made through the the special times will go directly to the Special Olympic athletes.

Fundraisers like these are critical for the Special Olympics and the Olympians that compete. The athletes rely on donated dollars to help them. The money raised through such fundraisers as “Law and Order” or the Polar Plunge go directly towards helping the athletes in a number of ways such as helping pay for uniforms, their lodging and evening their travel.

“Paula it's important. it's done state wide. it's held in other Applebee's. and all the money goes to the state. So what it does is it helps fund out athletes for the year. Which is a good thing because there's no charge for our athletes to participate in the Olympics. So they average like cost per athlete a little over $300.” said Paula Cusano, a coach for the Special Olympics.

“Bringing any type of awareness over to the Special Olympics is definitely great. If we can do anything to help out any of the Olympians, put some smiles on their faces it's definitely a worth while cause.” said Vinny Lyman, the general manager of the Applebee's.

The "Law and Order" fundraiser typically brings in around $900.