05/21/10 — Law enforcement holds torch run today

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Law enforcement holds torch run today

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on May 21, 2010 1:46 PM

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Troy Herring

Special Olympics torch runners get off to an early start Friday morning for the annual run. The run started at Goldsboro Police Department at 8 a.m. and is scheduled to finish about 11 a.m. at Mount Olive Police Department.

Law enforcement was carrying the torch for Special Olympics this morning, as officers from a number of area departments headed from Goldsboro to Mount Olive, some running, others following along in buses and minivans.

Three Special Olympians led the pack and held the torch in the first leg of the run, which left around 8:10 a.m. today and headed down John Street.

Goldsboro C-Shift Capt. Theresa Chiero said that two women from the Probation and Parole department, Heather Bevell and Melissa Wright, played integral roles in organizing the run.

"Each year, law enforcement agencies throughout the United States do these torch runs to raise money, and all the money that we get goes straight back into Special Olympics," Chiero said.

That extra funding allows Olympians to travel to various competitions, the captain said.

"It's important because it helps raise money so that it's possible for these athletes to get to different games," Mrs. Chiero said.

Organizations that participated in today's torch run to Mount Olive included a unit from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the Goldsboro office of the State Highway Patrol, Mount Olive Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, the Goldsboro Police Department, and the Wayne County Probation and Parole Department.

The funding process is actually multi-tiered throughout not just the United States, but abroad as well, the captain said.

"There are state competitions, there are actually world competitions for fundraising," she said. "All of these fundraisers help to get these athletes to these different functions and different places."

A major event in the near future is the 2010 Summer Games, held in Raleigh and Cary from June 4-6.

The organization expects 1,500 athletes, 600 coaches, 500 family members and 800 volunteers to participate in the event, where athletes compete in aquatics, gymnastics, golf, powerlifting, softball and volleyball.

The event is so well-attended that volunteers are told that space is "limited" for the soon-to-be-held event.

However, anyone still interested in bringing a group to the event, you can contact Special Olympics employee Wendy Miller at 719-7662, ext. 116.

Interested parties also may e-mail Ms. Miller at wmiller@sonc.net.