Prince William County Law Enforcement Runs to Raise Money for Special Olympics

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Upwards of 50 runners from law enforcement agencies across Prince William County recently gathered to run in this year's Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.  

The runners covered a six-mile route starting from the Central District Police Station off Davis Road, going to Hoadly Road, then to Va. 234, and finally to Independent Hill Drive to the Prince William Police Association Hall. Participants in the torch run expressed that they were motivated to join the event to support a good cause.   

"It shows support for these athletes, and it's just great to be out there with them," said Prince William County Police Department Detective Patrick Crowley.  

Before the run began, Police Chief Peter Newsham stressed the importance of supporting the Special Olympics, emphasizing that the dedication and appreciation of the Special Olympians fuel their support for the cause. 

“The reason that we support the Special Olympics is because of the Special Olympians,” said Newsham. "I have listened to the athletes, and they have told me personally that they appreciate it from the bottom of their hearts. So, for you to take the time to come out here and commit yourselves to this important cause, I can't thank you enough."   

Special Olympian Rose Reeder thanked all who attended and participated in the torch run.   

"This is just one of our many events that we take part in helping to provide funds for our athletes, for 18,000 athletes like me,” said Reeder. “Because of your generosity and commitment, we are able to participate in any sport that we would like to play in, to travel to places we never thought we could go to. Thank you everyone for being here."   

According to Special Olympics Senior Director of Development Ellen Head, the local effort raised $4,886 for the Special Olympics. This placed Prince William County law enforcement agencies in the top five fundraisers in the state when added to the money collected for the Polar Plunge held annually in February. The fundraising effort reflects the respect that law enforcement has for the athletes.  

"We have a great relationship with law enforcement nationally and in Virginia, and especially here in Prince William County," Head said. "Members of law enforcement love to show their support for their community, particularly those who need a little bit more protection and those are members of the community that have developmental disabilities."   

Head said the event is important because it puts Special Olympics in the spotlight.   

"People are seeing that law enforcement officers, here in Prince William County, Virginia, and around the globe are supporting Special Olympians," Head said. "More importantly they're raising awareness and raising funds. This campaign, statewide should raise over $100,000 for Special Olympics Virginia. And law enforcement in the past 12 months has raised over $12 million for Special Olympics Virginia."   

Prince William Police Department Sgt. Ramona Fontenot said the event serves to unite people.  

"I think it's an important cause for the community, and I think it's a good thing that everybody can come together to have a good time and support all of our members of the community with disabilities," Fontenot said.  

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