The Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run roared back in June, thanks to agencies across the state including CDCR, CCHCS and DJJ. Law enforcement agencies joined forces to carry the Flame of Hope while raising funds for Special Olympics athletes.
Dozens participate in Capitol run
On Friday, June 25, dozens of law enforcement agency personnel carried the Flame of Hope, running four miles from Sacramento State University to the State Capitol. The event was the last leg of the Northern California Special Olympics (SONC) Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) that started on June 14 to kick off the virtual 2021 Summer Games.
As runners approached the west steps, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office helicopter flew overhead. Over a loudspeaker, they thanked those who participated.
David Solo, CEO of Special Olympics of Northern California and Nevada, was joined by several local dignitaries to thank all those who gathered at the Capitol.
“I want to thank all of you for your support. We’re very blessed from the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the revenue generated for our Special Olympics athletes,” he said.
CDCR has been involved in the Torch Run for years
Dr. Diana Toche, CDCR’s Undersecretary of Health Care Services, shared her appreciation for Special Olympics and CDCR/CCHCS staff.
“The theme of what we all have come through this past year is perseverance and resilience,” she said. “For many of us, 2020 was filled with even more challenges and obstacles than any of us have encountered. But that’s what makes today special. Despite what we have faced both individually and as a community, we are able to come together today to celebrate our athletes. Special Olympics athletes are some of the most resilient individuals I have ever met. They are bright shining examples of pushing through any challenge that might be in front of them, and all with a smile.”
CDCR and CCHCS had three teams participating in the Capitol run:
- Heart and Sole of Corrections led by David Bennewitz, Information Technology Specialist I
- CDCR-FOPS/CCTRP/ACP/CBU/WCSU led by Tim Davies, Parole Agent II
- and CSP-Sacramento led by Lanai O’Brian, Correctional Counselor II
CDCR institutions and divisions lace up running shoes for Torch Run
In the days leading up to the Capitol event, several institutions joined local law enforcement agencies to participate in the 2021 LETR.
“In the prison system, we had some challenges with COVID over the past year,” said Dr. Toche. “But, our staff and inmate population were still able to do some fundraising events.”
The top five fundraising institutions in Northern California for 2021 were:
- Correctional Training Facility at Soledad, $22,000
- High Desert State Prison, $8,383
- California State Prison, Sacramento, $7,122
- Duel Vocational Institution, $6,965
- California State Prison, Solano, $6,565
CSP-Solano, CMF carry torch through Vacaville
Salinas parole staff run for the cause
On June 18, Salinas Parole Agents partnered with allied Monterey County law enforcement agencies to help carry the Flame of Hope through the city of Salinas.
Following last year’s COVID 19 restrictions, staff were excited to participate in the run and help fundraise once again.
“It’s a fun event, joining our local law enforcement in bringing awareness to a great cause,” said Acting Parole Agent II Jorge Vigil.
The event is about inclusion, diversity, and celebrating equality for all members of the community. The Salinas Parole Agents have participated in the local Torch Run for several years and looks to continue the tradition.
CTF, SVSP raise funds for Special Olympics
The Correctional Training Facility and Salinas Valley State Prison aimed to raise funds and awareness for SONC by participating in the 2021 Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday, June 25.
The run began in Monterey County in King City before heading through Greenfield, Soledad, Salinas, Monterey, Sand City, Seaside, CSU Monterey Bay and Marina.
Eighteen runners from the Correctional Training Facility and Salinas Valley State Prison joined the Soledad Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Salinas Police Department, Parole and Monterey County District Attorney’s Office in running each leg of the run from Soledad through Salinas.
Learn more about the Special Olympics of Northern California.