The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department will take part next month in the 2007 Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise funds for Special Olympics.
The annual event began in 1981 when the Wichita, Kansas, Police Department saw an urgent need to raise funds for Special Olympics. Today the torch run represents the largest grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics, and it has grown to include law enforcement personnel from all 50 states and 35 foreign countries.
For 2007, the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department and surrounding agencies will carry the torch from three points in the county on May 16.
Across the state, New Mexico law-enforcement officers carry the Special Olympics torch from city to city and ultimately into the University of New Mexico stadium where the Special Olympics State Summer Games take place.
Deputy Daniel Ramondo of the department also has designed t-shirts for sale so that residents and employees can show support for the local torch-run program. Each shirt is $15, with orders being placed in advance of the event. The shirts are available by calling 525-8818 or 525-8879. A sample shirt is on display in the Sheriff’s Office lobby at 845 N. Motel Blvd.
Since its inception in New Mexico, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $1.5 million for the athletes of Special Olympics. Half of the money stays in the communities in which it was raised, and half helps to support the five statewide competitions hosted by Special Olympics of New Mexico.
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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 525-5801.