Carrying the Flame of Hope
Two dozen runners from local law enforcement agencies carried the Special Olympics torch through downtown Henderson in the 2014 Torch Run on Tuesday. The event was carried out to raise funds for North Carolina Special Olympics.
Representatives from the Henderson Police Department, Vance County Sheriff’s Office, Granville Police Department and North Carolina Highway patrol participated in the two-and-a-half-mile run from HPD on Breckenridge Street to Sunset Gardens Memorial Cemetery.
Henderson Mayor Pete O’Geary initiated the event by welcoming the runners and onlookers.
“Law enforcement raises more money for Special Olympics than any other organization,” he said.
Lt. Curtis Brame of the sheriff’s office offered an invocation, and Delores Robinson led the singing of the national anthem.
Sandra Waverly and Patricia Ellis brought participants of Community Workforce Solutions to watch the send-off. Samone Vann led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Vance County Sheriff Peter White and Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow lit the Olympic torch, which HPD Detective Ashley Morris carried as the runners jogged along Breckenridge Street to Garnett Street. They continued down Garnett Street and out Oxford Road to complete the run at Sunset Gardens.
Morris said this is the third Torch Run she has participated in.
“I’ve run each year in my four years with the department except when I was on military duty,” said Morris, who is a member of the National Guard.
For State Trooper Elliot Fuller, this is an important event.
“This is the 13th year I’ve run in the Torch Run, every year I’ve been in law enforcement,” he said.
The Vance County run is one of almost two dozen relays held during a 20-day period in May to bring attention to the Special Olympics. More than 2,000 law enforcement officers and personnel from 200 agencies across the state are carrying the torch in local relays that will end with the start of the 2014 Special Olympics of North Carolina Summer Games.
The final leg will be run on the evening of May 30, when officers will carry the Flame of Hope from the state capitol in downtown Raleigh to the opening ceremonies at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion. Officers will form a circle of honor and light the cauldron to officially open the games.
The Summer Games will take place May 30 through June 1 and will include more than 1,400 athletes competing in aquatics, athletics, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball and volleyball.
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