The Virginia Special Olympics summer games will not take place this year. However, approximately 30 law enforcement officials and several Special Olympians recently ran in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Virginia to raise money for Prince William Special Olympians.
Special Olympics supports sports activities across the state for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
“This is helping special Olympics Virginia and Prince William,” said Special Olympics Virginia-Greater Prince William Area Fundraising and Sports Coordinator Jacque Dietrichson. “It’s good to have the community support, and the athletes love law enforcement. Seeing the community come together is just great. Raising money for us is great, and it helps with our program.”
The Torch Run is one of three events county law enforcement hold each year to raise money for Special Olympics. “We’ve been partnering with the Special Olympics for several years now with the Torch Run, the Plane Pull and the Polar Plunge, and we certainly feed off the energy and the dedication of our Special Olympics athletes,” said Prince William Police 1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok. “It’s definitely a great partnership we have with them. We’re honored to raise money for the worthy causes associated with the Special Olympics, and we look forward to future events.”
It took the runners a little more than 30 minutes to run the 3.6 miles from Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue Station 17, at Cardinal and Waterway drives, to the Gar-Field Eastern District Station, located at 15948 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge.
After the run, Prince William Supervisor Yesli Vega, who is also an auxiliary deputy for the Prince William County Sheriff’s Department, said she had several good reasons to participate in the Torch Run. “I’m just really happy to be out here with my brothers and sisters in blue running for a great cause. I have three reasons to run. One, because I serve on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and two, I’m a law enforcement officer, and three, it’s a great cause. We get to raise money and we get to bring exposure to the cause. It just encourages everyone.”
A crowd of applauding police department officers and staff greeted the runners as they entered the police station parking lot.