TULARE COUNTY, California (KGPE) – Several law enforcement agencies are participating in passing off the “Flame of Hope” in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Northern California.
The torch run is split up into two regions for California — southern and northern. This morning’s run started off in Porterville although located in the South Valley.
This is the first time Tulare County joined the Law Enforcement Torch Run that started 40 years ago in 1981.
“We want to put it out to the public that the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office is involved in our community, and we want to public to be aware our efforts to raise money to assist with the Special Olympics,” said Lt. Steve Sanchez of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.
1,500 people from 135 law enforcement teams in the California region from Tulare up to Del Norte counties will take part. One of the organizers said law enforcement has become the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics around the world.
“I just saw how much it affects the athletes and their families and met the best human beings from the athletes to the volunteers to the law enforcement officers that dedicate so much time and energy to raising money and awareness for Special Olympics,” said John Hohmann, a retired lieutenant of Scotts Valley Police Department of Santa Cruz County.
The fundraiser already raised around $225,000 dollars with a week still to go until the Special Olympics’ opening ceremonies at the state capitol. One of the participating officers from CHP says it’s also great for morale.
“It was a great showing out there and all those people out there on the run and then people stopping by, driving by honking the horn and giving us the thumbs up, cheering us on, that’s great too,” said CHP Officer Steve Beal.
The run will continue to hand off the Flame of Hope torch to law enforcement agencies until the capitol ceremony on Friday, June 25th.