The Ehly family knows how to create positives out of a tragedy.
When California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Ehly died from a stroke in 2010, wife Shannon Ehly and daughter Morgan Martin sought to honor him. They launched a fundraiser, called Tips for CHiPs, to raise money for the nonprofit California Association of Highway Patrolmen Widows and Orphans’ Trust Fund.
At the 12th annual Tips for CHiPs on Wednesday, CHP officers gathered at Outback Steakhouse on Stockdale Highway again to garner funds for the fund.
“My mom and I wanted to do something that would really honor the person that he was,” Martin said. “This fundraiser really honors his legacy.”
The organization provided two dine-in and drive-thru options, in light of the pandemic, said CHP Public Information Officer for Fort Tejon Adriaan Garcia. Tickets were $25 per meals of steak, chicken, Caesar salad, mashed potatoes, bread and cheesecake.
Over the past 11 years, the organization has raised about $302,000. This year, the nonprofit will garner more than $30,000, Martin said.
“It was busy all day,” Martin said. “It's always like a little CHP family reunion.”
Garcia added this event also enables the community to see a peace officer in a casual setting. Many individuals ask questions about their roles as officers, and others are interested in joining the ranks, Garcia said.
“It's a fun event,” he added. “Everybody gets something nice out of it.”