Valley law enforcement raise money for Special Olympics athletes

Fresno, Calif. (KFSN) — Law enforcement agencies across Northern California are lacing up their shoes for a good cause.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics made its way from Tulare County to Fresno County on Monday morning.

“We have the Sheriff’s Office, Kingsburg, Fowler and Selma,” said Sgt. Fred Henson, with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re all here today, under one umbrella, to raise money for our athletes and Special Olympics through the Law Enforcement Torch Run.”

Officers and sheriff’s deputies waited in front of the Kingsburg Police Department for the ‘Flame of Hope’ – a symbol of courage and a celebration of unity.

According to Sgt. Henson, hundreds of Special Olympics athletes will be able to be participate in this year’s Summer Games because of the torch run.

“It costs us roughly $250 to sponsor one athlete for the entire year. Our goal is to sponsor as many athletes that we can,” he said. “We have about 27,000 athletes in Northern California that’s under our umbrella.”

Kingsburg Police Detective Nissi Robledo said local businesses chipped in for the cause.

A lot of the businesses, we approached them and asked them if they were willing to sponsor a runner,” he said. “They were very welcoming for us. It was very easy for us to get sponsors here, all up and down the route.”

The group ran about six miles up Golden State Boulevard to the Fowler Police Department.

Organizers said it’s heartwarming to see different law enforcement agencies join together for Special Olympics athletes.

“The constant give – it’s amazing,” Henson said. “They appreciate the athletes and the actual athletes really appreciate them.”

The torch run will continue north with other local agencies picking up the remaining legs.

It ends in Santa Clara for the start of the Summer Games.

Donations are still being accepted. A link can be found here.

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