Photo Courtesy: Arlington County Police Department
Arlington Police carried a torch for the Special Olympics on Thursday. Dozens of officers ran with a “Flame of Hope” from the Iwo Jima Memorial down the George Washington Memorial Parkway to the border of Alexandria where they handed off the flame to Alexandria police.
Arlington’s was one of seven Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Runs that ran across the state last week. Officers statewide traversed over 1,900 miles of roadway before meeting on June 8 in Richmond. From there, Richmond police and Special Olympics athletes brought the torch to the stadium where another flame was lit to start the 2012 Virginia Special Olympics games.
Adults and children participated in tennis, bowling, aquatics and softball, among other sports, over the weekend.
The torch event, in its 27th year, has raised more than $14 million for Special Olympics Virginia, including a record-breaking $924,000 this year so far, a police press release says.
"The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics began in 1981 in Kansas when Wichita Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds and increase awareness for Special Olympics," the group’s website says.
Torch Run officials said they have not quite hit their goal of $1 million, an amount that they have neared but never cleared. They are close this year. Not all of the donations from the run have been counted. Also, they still have another event in August, and the count does not become final until October.