Toot's Restaurants and Rutherford County School Resource Officers Join Forces for Successful Fundraiser

Dec 07, 2023 at 12:12 pm by WGNS News


MURFREESBORO, TN - In a heartwarming collaboration, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office partnered with Toot's Restaurants to raise an impressive $17,000 for the Sheriff's Office Shop with the Sheriff program. The annual fundraising event, held on Tuesday, December 5th, saw overwhelming support from the community. Dedicated guests that visit Toot's played a pivotal role in contributing to the cause.


Guests at the three Toot's locations (Toot's on NW Broad Street, South Church Street, and Franklin Road) were greeted with smiles from School Resource Officers (SRO) and volunteers from the Sheriff's Alumni Association, creating a positive and festive atmosphere. The funds collected, with Toot's invaluable assistance, will be channeled into a special fund earmarked for a Christmas shopping excursion benefiting approximately 30 less fortunate children that attend local county schools. The annual tradition, organized by the SRO division and the Sheriff's Alumni Association, brings joy to these children during the holiday season.

Wade Hayes from Toot's Restaurants expressed gratitude for the community's generosity, emphasizing the incredible testament to Murfreesboro's spirit. An additional boost to this year's fundraising efforts came in the form of a substantial anonymous donation. Hayes told WGNS News, "It's an incredible testimony to our community that they could raise that much money in just a few hours, and at a local restaurant!" The fundraiser, conducted within a tight 3-hour window on December 5th from 5 PM to 8 PM, exemplified the community's swift and impactful response.

The Rutherford County School Resource Officer Division, celebrating 30 years of dedicated service to local students, pioneered the concept in Tennessee in 1993. From its humble beginnings with five officers in five schools, the division has expanded to cover every county-operated school, totaling 50 schools. Toot's Restaurants, the oldest full-service restaurant in Murfreesboro since its establishment on NW Broad Street in 1985, stands as a monument to the positive impact local businesses can have on the community. In its 38-year history, Toot's has weathered the challenges of a competitive industry, making a lasting and meaningful contribution to the local landscape.

MORE FROM RCSO: Children’s faces will light up when they shop for Christmas presents, thanks to the generosity of Toot’s restaurants and their diners.

Sheriff’s School Resource Officers asked the Toot’s diners to donate to the Rutherford County Schools’ students in need during the annual Shop with the Sheriff fund-raiser at the three Murfreesboro Toot’s restaurants.

Generous donors and the Toot’s corporate office donated enough funds so the SROs, VA Police and Sheriff’s Citizens Academy alumni members to take the students shopping for Christmas presents.

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh thanked Toot’s for their sponsorship of the event and the staffs, the people who donated, the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy Alumni Association members and the SROs, the Community Services Unit and the deputies who supported Shop with the Sheriff.

“We are grateful to our caring community residents who donated to help the Rutherford County Schools’ students who will experience the joy of Christmas,” Fitzhugh said. "Your gifts will create life-long memories for these children.”

SRO Sgt. Dustin Cox thanked Toot’s owner Wade Hays and the Toot’s staff including managers, servers and cooks who made the event a success.

“Shop with the Sheriff was a huge success thanks to the donors and Toot’s,” Cox said. “Your donations and kind hearts will help our students in the Rutherford County Schools’ system enjoy Christmas presents."

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