Local, county, state and federal law enforcement officers who serve Baldwin County will gather in Fairhope April 29 for the annual Baldwin County Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run before the Baldwin County Special Olympics.
The officers will carry the “Flame of Hope” for three miles along Greeno Road, from Fairhope High School to W. C. Majors Field at Fairhope Municipal Stadium beginning at 8 a.m. following a pep rally at the high school. The officers will deliver the torch to the Special Olympics athletes during the opening ceremonies of the annual Baldwin County Special Olympics Games. Opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m..
Founded in 1981, the Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundraising and public awareness vehicle for the Special Olympics in the world. Every year officers carry the “Flame of Hope” through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to their local, state or national Special Olympics Games.
As “Guardians of the Flame,” the officers have given hope to thousands of Special Olympics athletes who aspire to compete, to achieve, and to reach their potential.
Foley Police Sergeant Chuck Sutherlin has volunteered for the Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run (ALETR) for the nine years and is currently a member of the ALETR Executive Council. He has carried the torch in events all over the country.
“As a police officer, it is truly a life changing experience to be a ‘Guardian of the Flame,’” Sutherlin said. “I get the opportunity to be in the presence of some very extraordinary people… our brothers and sisters with intellectual disabilities. They view me as a hero because I’m a police officer. It’s a great feeling, but the fact is Special Olympics athletes are my heroes. It’s an honor serving them.”
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